White supremacists and the American way
8/23/2018, 6 a.m.
Neo-Confederates returned to Richmond last Sunday to once again show their support for keeping the statues of their slave-owning, inhumane traitorous leaders on Monument Avenue.
And as in their last three rallies in Richmond, their paltry Confederate flag-waving, gun-toting contingent was outnumbered by counterprotesters who believe the monuments to white supremacists should be taken down.
We are relieved that no violence broke out, but are bracing ourselves for their widely advertised return for a fifth time on Sept. 15.
The nagging question is this: How long are city officials willing to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars and police time on protecting a Lost Cause?
Last year alone, the city spent more than $500,000 on rallies called by these latter-day rebels who wrap themselves in a worn-out mantra that it’s all about heritage, not hate.
If it’s about heritage, then let’s go ahead and move the statues to the contextual places where they belong — on federally preserved Civil War battlefield sites in Virginia where the war took place or at the privately owned birthplaces and homes of these vanquished secessionists who chose to shed the blood of thousands of people rather than free black people from bondage.
Don’t be fooled. Just because the number of neo-Confederates turning out for the recent rallies in Richmond and Washington is low doesn’t mean their message of white supremacy has lost its virulence or traction.
On the contrary, it exists all around us — in the policies from the White House that authorize immigrant children to be snatched from their parents and kept in cages; in the protocol of Virginia public schools that harshly and disproportionately suspend African-American students from classrooms while at the same time failing to provide adequate resources for education; and in the practices of Richmond area police who target African-American males for warrantless searches and harassment with false claims of smelling marijuana.
The fight against racism and white supremacy will continue to take place on Monument Avenue as long as the statues honoring Confederates remain.
And the fight will continue at City Hall, at the School Board, in the General Assembly, in Washington — and at the ballot box — as long as bigoted policies exist.