So many thoughts on this weekend’s atrocious activity in Charlottesville, Va., and I’m warning you up front I’m not sure how coherent this is all going to be. But here goes…
— This is 2017, and white nationalist/racist young men, who claim to be so oppressed and put upon, staged a rally in the open, with no masks or hoods covering their faces, and felt perfectly comfortable doing so.
They chanted offensive slogans about Jews, African-Americans, Hispanics, and anybody else they didn’t like. In 2017, they felt no shame, no embarrassment, no reason not to feel emboldened.
And that’s because of the white man in the White House, a sexist, disgusting, prejudiced pig of a human being, and the white men who work for him.
From the fingers of the great Charlie Pierce in Esquire: “Anyone who followed the presidential campaign saw this coming. Frankly, I’m surprised there wasn’t more of it. Every Trump rally came with an implied promise of some kind of violence. Sometimes, the promise was fulfilled. Sometimes it wasn’t. But it was the dark energy behind that whole campaign. For all the relentless chin-stroking about the economically anxious and forgotten white working class, and for all the prayerful coverage of Donald Trump’s “populist” appeal, there was no question what was driving events on the Republican side.”
This is exactly what Trump was talking about the last two years. These are his people.
— And of course he didn’t repudiate them on Saturday, when news of this “rally” and the violence that ensued broke. These are his voters! It’s so much easier to “tsk tsk” at this gathering of hatred, and to blame “both sides.” Sorry Donnie, when you’ve got neo-Nazis involved, there is no “other side” to see. But our President refused to condemn or vilify these privileged white men who couldn’t bear to see a Confederate statue taken down in Virginia.
Quite a week for our President: As @GadyEpstein put it on Twitter: “Not many Presidents could make threatening nuclear war only the second-worst thing he did in a week.”
— This seems relevant today, a 1947 anti-fascist video put out by the U.S. military. Sound familiar:
— Funny how Trump was able to summon outrage at CNN, Nordstrom’s and so many others, condemning them, but when it comes to neo-Nazis, it’s “Ah, everyone’s to blame.”
— Keep Heather Heyer in your thoughts; she’s the 32-year-old woman mowed down and killed by a moving car driven by one of these Nazi sympathizers. I watched the video of it happening; absolutely disgusting.
— Thanks for coming, Fox News! So predictable.
— Finally, this whole weekend, I kept flashing back to this thought, articulated by writer Tommy Tomlinson: African-American kids were getting killed in the streets, and so Black Lives Matter was formed, and their protests were met with violence from law enforcement.
A Confederate statue was being taken down, and so a bunch of middle-class, privileged white dudes (these alt-right folks in Charlottesville were NOT southern hicks, that is clear) decided they couldn’t take it anymore.
We live in two different countries here in America. We really do.
**Next up today, mid-August always brings the Little League World Series into our lives, and for the past several years it’s frightening to see how much coverage ESPN gives all the regional tournaments and lead-ups. I’m sorry, but 11 and 12-year-old kids do NOT need to be on TV this much.
But with all this coverage of the LLWS playoffs we do get to see some examples, once again, of how grownups ruin kids sports.
May I introduce you to a man who should never, ever coach again, a man from Goffstown, N.H. named Jeff O’Connell.
Here’s what happened: There were two outs in the bottom of the sixth, and Goffstown was batting while trailing a team from South Portland, Me., 7-5. As Little League games are only six innings, and as there were two outs, the end of the game was pretty imminent.
One of the great rules of Little League is that every kid on a team must play, at least for one out. Well, a Goffstown player named Cole Bergeron had yet to play, and the umpires were aware of it and told O’Connell that if Bergeron wasn’t sent up to bat, the coach would be suspended for two games.
O’Connell still kept Bergeron on the bench, violating the rules. Goffstown lost, so O’Connell won’t get suspended until next year. Let’s hope he’s put on permanent suspension.
Let the kid play, for God’s sakes. It’s Little League!
**And finally today, a lighter story that made me smile: August 13 is apparently National Lefthander’s Day, in honor of all of us who, thanks to society’s righty bias, had to deal with impossible to use scissors, desks and notebooks as a child. (You know how many paper cuts I got from those metal 3-ring binders as a kid??? A lot, let me tell you.)
Yep, I’m a lefty, not just in politics but in dexterity, and ya know, life isn’t easy for us. We always end up with ink on our pinkies, we’re constantly having to do things backwards from the way they’re explained (because almost all demonstrations of stuff are done by righties), and we are almost always having to adjust to righty-dominated things like road signs.
I’ve always been proud to be a lefty; it’s always helped me in tennis because opponents aren’t used to seeing serves and forehands come off a racquet with a lefty spin. If I had any baseball ability at all, being a lefty would’ve helped tremendously.
As it is, I’m proud that so many famous, accomplished people throughout history have been lefties, people like Aristotle, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Barack Obama.
Given how much we lefties have accomplished, would it kill you scissors-makers to help us out when we’re young? Do me and the five other lefties in class always have to fight over the one lefty pair of scissors?