By Dr. Boyd Cathey
… the only voice that got even remotely close to a rational perspective came from Professor Carol Swain, who distinguished between the very legitimate desires, aspirations and fears of America’s under-attack white majority and the misapprehension that somehow those desires equal inevitably “white racism” or “white supremacy”
Yesterday, until late at night, the media was filled to overflowing with nothing but lurid and hysterical accounts of the “violence” and the “massacre” by so-called “white nationalists” (alternately identified as “white supremacists” or “white racists”) of those poor, innocent “counter demonstrators” in Charlottesville who were “protesting hate and bigotry.”
That’s it; that’s the narrative that showed up, overpowering everything else, including wall-to-wall coverage on Fox, and spewed forth as if handed down from Mount Olympus by assorted “wise” Republican senators, including most notably—and disgustingly–Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch, and—of course—John McCain, whose biggest complaint was that Donald Trump somehow did not specify that the violence was exclusively caused by something that is termed the “Alt-right.”
Nary a word about the ultimate and real responsibility of the American Left for a continuing history of violence, nary a word about the responsibility of the so-called “resist Trump” organizations and their actions, nary a word about the uncontrolled rampaging of the Black Lives Matter movement (e.g., Ferguson, Baltimore, etc.), nary a word about the stepped up and planned confrontations by the “antifa” (self-titled “antifascists”) militants. That is, not one word about the history of virulent street action, fire bombing, trashing of private property, and, yes, attempts to kill anyone (e.g., Representative Steve Scalise) to the perceived right of, say, John McCain, anyone who might in any way say a good word about Donald Trump, or defend older American traditions and beliefs.
So, continually, the networks portray what happened yesterday as simply the manifestation of extremism and bigotry from the Right. And practically the only voice that got even remotely close to a rational perspective came from a black professor, Professor Carol Swain at Vanderbilt University, who distinguished between the very legitimate desires, aspirations and fears of America’s under-attack white majority and the misapprehension that somehow those desires equal inevitably “white racism” or “white supremacy.”
As Swain indicated, what has happened during the past few decades is a palpable marginalization of millions of hard working Americans, mostly white and mostly Christian, who have been sidelined and left behind by the advancing progressivist revolution (these last words are mine). They are not naturally “racists” or even “white supremacists,” but rather they seek to guarantee their own survival, and the survival of their families, their communities, and their culture. They have seen the standards, beliefs, traditions, morality and customs that they inherited and have cherished—they have seen them attacked, ridiculed, and, in many cases, banned, even criminalized.
The so-called “Alt-right” march and their demonstration in Charlottesville, then, must be seen as something of a predictable boiling over of that legitimate and simmering sentiment. Protesting the attempt to take down the historic Robert E. Lee statue was not, in this sense, the underlying reason for the Alt-right protest. Rather, it served as a much broader, if much angrier and extreme, reminder of what is and has been occurring in our society, a symbol of the continuing destruction of this nation and its history by those who zealously possess and attempt to impose a world view, a template, which is the antithesis of those beliefs and that faith that millions of us have inherited and which we hold dear and believe.
The attacks by nearly the entirety of the media—including notably Fox—on the “Alt-right” demonstrators as “white racists” and “white supremacists,” then, is not only misguided scattershot, but it partakes in the dominant and ideologically leftist Deep State establishment narrative which posits as absolute truth that “hate,” “bigotry,” “racism,” ad nauseum, only come from what they identity as the “far” or “extreme” right. And those terms are all-inclusive for anyone who dissents even in the slightest from the ongoing progressivist Revolution.
Thus, when the president condemned violence from “both sides,” it was as if Mount Vesuvius had erupted and had poured down its ash and lava all over Pompei! The Mainstream Media went literally wild in outrage and demanded that he specify by name the “right” and “rightist violence.” And in jumped with both feet the obsequiously sickening Marco Rubio and Karl Rove, obedient to the standard Deep State mindset, urging the president to condemn “white nationalism” and “white supremacy.”
And so it went throughout the afternoon and evening … until I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and switched over to watch John Wayne in John Ford’s 1950 film masterpiece, “Rio Grande.” (It is always a gracious reward at the end to hear the Yankee band strike up “Dixie” as the Union troops pass in review!)
Certainly, the Alt-right demonstrators in Charlottesville included some extreme elements. Certainly, a few would advocate a form of “supremacy,” or rather a return to a time when white people had more authority in this nation. And, yes, they were very angry—angry after watching the dozens of violent manifestations by those revolutionaries of the Left, those “resisters” and “antifa” Marxists and Anarchists, those rampaging Black Lives Matter zealots for whom any law enforcement action against any black person is, ipso facto, “racist” and “police brutality,” legitimizing their burning out of whole neighborhoods in Baltimore and Ferguson. And, yes, driving a car murderously into the assembled counter-demonstrators, however much provocation there may have been, was unjustified and counter-productive and criminal.
All of this was predictable and even perhaps inevitable, given what has happened in the country. Indeed, is it not a product of the over-the-top rhetoric, the apocalyptic imagery and the violent reaction from the forces and minions of the Deep State managerial establishment to last year’s election and any attempt to reverse their jealously-guarded domination over us all?
For far too long those—we—middle Americans, we “deplorables,” oppressed and suppressed by an increasingly revolutionary, radically multiculturalist, culturally Marxist overlay that drains out our historic being and essence as a people, have pacifically and more or less obediently acceded to the Revolution and its infectious cancer. Beginning last November, but actually before that, that slumber was interrupted, and millions of citizens, understanding, if intuitively, that their lives and their country were slipping away from their control, stood up and cried: “No further!”
And the dominant forces in our culture have responded furiously. At first those of us who wish to defend our traditions and our historic Western Christian culture sought to meet their assault traditionally, within the accustomed methods and pathways of our republic. But it was they—the forces of the increasingly hysterical Deep State and their stormtrooper antifa street fighters, the Black Lives Matter and its fatuous race hustlers like William Barber, the radicalized and demented university students, and not just them, but the near totality of the Democrat Party and most establishment Republicans, all fatally infected by a Revolutionary progressivist venom—they who first unleashed the violence in words AND in deeds.
Ironically, it is Robert E. Lee who defiantly stands for what was and is admirable and right about America. And his lesson is being lost through all that is currently occurring. A man who despised slavery and freed his slaves (in 1862), a man descended from the Founders of our old Republic and who fully understood what the Founders intended, a man who loved the Union but loved liberty more, a man of a truly Christian and gentle disposition—Lee stands out in our history as one of our greatest figures, respected and deeply admired by such diverse leaders as Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Yet, he also comprehended what the tyranny of an overreaching Federal government might mean. And he made a momentous decision to stand with his state AND with the American Constitution. In a real sense, he stood 155 years ago against the incipient progressivist Revolution, and despite overwhelming odds, he almost succeeded in leading the Confederate nation against that revolution.
Rather than recur then to some grab-bag terminology the media calls the “Alt-right”—which has yet to be accurately defined and described, other than becoming a “devil” term for the minions of the Deep State—those of us, those deplorables, those who awakened from a silent slumber last November, those of us who wish only to reclaim the right of our people, our culture, our civilization to survive and continue unmolested—we should look to the model of that “chevalier sans peur,” that noble Virginian, Robert E. Lee, who tried to preserve the American confederation, but also understood that there are times when one must, regretfully and painfully, take bolder steps to save that which is admirable and laudable in our history and our culture.
Dr. Boyd D. Cathey
~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.