[NOTE: This article was originally published on August 15th, 2017.]
This past Saturday night, August 12, 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”) inflicted on poor, innocent “counter demonstrators” in Charlottesville who were “protesting hate and bigotry.” That’s the narrative that showed up, including wall-to-wall coverage on Fox, overpowering everything else, and spewed forth as if handed down from Mount Olympus by assorted “wise” Republican senators, including most notably Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch, and 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.
Continually, the networks portray what happened Saturday 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, quite ironically, a black 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, or more recently, “Alt-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 berserk 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 that afternoon and evening…until I finally couldn’t take it any longer, 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, some 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 very probably 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?
Recently, Peter Brimelow, editor of VDare.com wrote a piece on his web site, entitled “there will be blood.” And the implication was and is this: for far too long, we middle Americans, we “deplorables,” oppressed and suppressed by an increasingly revolutionary, radically multiculturalist, culturally Marxist, suffocating overlay that drains out our historic being and essence as a people, have more or less obediently acceded to the Revolution and its infectious cancer. Beginning last November, but actually before that, that passivity 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 wished 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, 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 for 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 to victory 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.
This, then, should be the watchword of our faith. We have been aggrieved and assaulted; we must respond according to the appropriate levels, not more, not less. We must be wiser and more intelligent than our enemies in the Deep State, for they possess most of the major weapons. Yet, with determination and the necessary prudence, and the wisdom and lessons of our ancestors, and above all, with Faith, we can succeed.
We defend our historic culture and our faith; we do so morally and ethically; but we do not stand down, nor do we shy away from the conflict.
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.