Author's note: I wasn't sure what to expect when interviewing Allen Armentrout, who launched to brief fame after the above image went viral late last summer. What I found was an intelligent, articulate, kind, and hopeful young man. A pure Southern gentleman, whose "Yes, ma'ams" delighted this ol' dissident belle.
Raised right, educated in true history, and nourished in the God of the Bible, Armentrout's also a fearless resistor to the Southern cultural genocide. To me, he serves as a much-needed light in these dark and dangerous times. I hope you will agree.
August 15 marks the one-year anniversary of when Allen Armentrout did his duty: honoring General Lee. Defying his youthful 21 years of age, the North Carolina native and lover of Southern heritage stood his ground resolutely and quietly as a seething flash mob gathered around him, hurling the most hurtful and irrational rhetoric at the lone rebel.
The Cloud and the Darkness
"Terrorist go home!" the rabid crowd of about 30 shrieked with hysterical flair synonymous with today's intolerant left. "Racist!" screamed one. "Get the fuck out of here!" screeched another. Obscenities, expletives, juvenile chants, and verbal snares filled the totalitarian-tainted air.
“She actually whispered in my ear," Armentrout told me in my recent two-hour phone interview with him (click here for full audio). The "she" he's referring to is the black woman seen in this video and the link above.
"It was kinda eerie. I can still hear it. She was like ‘We’re going to find you, chop your body up into tiny pieces, and people aren’t even going to know.'" That'd be peak social justice, I suppose.
The most well-known image from that Tuesday in Charlottesville, Virginia, is at top, a picture in which Lara Rogers, a middle-aged mother of three shoves double-birds in Armentrout's face. To cultural Marxists, Rogers is considered a "middle-fingered hero," who's just resisting "white supremacy."
But to we non-leftists, Rogers and others in the nihilistic throng are emblematic of exactly why Armentrout was in what I disrespectfully call "the Berkeley of the Blue Ridge." It's a place brimming with unhinged tyrants, who claim to defend their homes and values, while they seek to destroy the roots and history of what once made Charlottesville (and the South at large) so great.
They're Jacobins who resort to vitriol and bully tactics while claiming the moral high ground against a young man who simply wants to defend his hearth and heritage against a fashionable and utterly dangerous cultural genocide. They claim unity, but seek to conquer. The claim victim status, but revel in schadenfreude.
Stand Unflinchingly By Your Post
“I stood there two hours being mocked and brushed up against," Armentrout explained in his warm Piedmont drawl. "I don’t think you could’ve gotten more verbally assaulting than those people did to me.”
“Can you imagine what they might have done if I didn’t have a gun, if that was how volatile they were with me having a gun?” continued Armentrout, who came to Charlottesville open-carrying an AR-15 on his left shoulder and a holstered .45 handgun on his right hip, wearing a Confederate kepi and jacket, and holding a large Battle Flag.
Simply exercising his God-given and legal right to self-defense threw some emotive apparatchiks into a tizzy, of course. Leftists simply cannot fathom the concept of self-defense because they childishly equate guns with murder.
It also tweaked some of Armentrout's supporters, who thought the weaponry sent the wrong message, considering the violence that had unfolded in Charlottesville just three days prior. He admitted he almost left the rifle in the trunk of his car.
But with “all this hating on the ARs,” he opted to prove that the maligned gun can be used in a peaceful way and as a deterrent to harm and criminality. “Every time an AR-15’s been put on the news, it’s ‘Oh, it’s killed somebody.' This time, it’s not going to be that way."
“People nowadays do not value life," he added. "How hard do you think it’d be to kill a kid with a Confederate flag at a controversial monument? It’d be nothin’."
When in the Conflict of Life
Like a soldier preparing for battle, Armentrout played bagpipe military music through his Bluetooth headset when setting out for Lee Park, the now contentious site where the Confederate general's monument has been standing since 1924. He geared up and started the trek from his car, which was positioned about a mile away for security measures.
En route, a man brandished a weapon and made veiled threats, and a few cops approached him. Undeterred, Armentrout steadfastly marched onward, weapons visible and flag flying high. Such are the battle lines in this 4th-generation war and Lee Park was the beachhead.
Back in June, the politically correct Charlottesville City Council had voted unanimously to change the park's name to Emancipation Park, and in February, voted to remove Lee's statue. (The statue still remains pending lawsuit, but is sometimes cloaked in a tarp.) But the progressives who've colonized this once charming mountain town have deemed the statue contemptuous and demand that it must go.
This kind of puritanical purge of all things Southern is one of the many reasons the Unite the Right (UTR) rally had even taken place in city the previous weekend. The 26-feet-high bronze sculpture simply came to represent resistance to the leftist status quo because the Charlottesville barbarians made it so.
The horrific event, as described by my friend who attended the rally, didn't occur because the city is a "place fractured by racial history and racial wounds," assert the social-justice shills. The calamity was caused by these very hand-wringers who now cry foul and proved what dissidents of all stripes have been saying all along: we live under anarcho-tyranny.
And the cultural Marxists' cleansing of Confederate symbols and subsequent celebration of evildoers only proliferated post-UTR, amplifying that ugly reality. In fact, it was the razing of the Confederate veteran statue in Durham by a legion of lunatics which inspired Armentrout to head to Virginia.
“There does come a point where morally what they believe in is completely wrong and threatens my way of life in some cases," Armentrout said of the Reconstructed masses. "And that’s when you have to stand up for what you believe in.”
Charlottesville is a case study in peak democracy. It's the bitter pill that there's an outright state-enforced, media-pushed, corporate-collaborated war against freedom of conscience, civility, and federalism. And Dixie is its emblematic whipping boy.
"It is history that teaches us to hope."
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today."
He decided to clean those neglected veteran gravestones “of men who died for our rights and our freedoms hundreds of miles away from their families.” Many of their “descendants probably don’t even know where they are. For all I know there might be an Armentrout in Missouri or Texas, somewhere far away from me that hopefully a fellow compatriot out there might clean.”
"I learned a lot from my dad and those two pictures."
"My dad taught me as a young man to revere those individuals and taught me what they believed, showed me what to stand for and what not to. I was taught that I have rights and freedoms. I was taught the truth and I was taught to care.”
"I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in doing so, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity."
— Robert E. Lee
Just like we Orthodox look to the saints and use their stories to help grow us in faith, Armentrout looks to the enigmatic Lee and Jackson. Just like we Orthodox are called upon to pray for our dead Christian ancestors, Armentrout honors his.
Just like the traditional Orthodox fought against iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire, Armentrout resists the destruction of his symbols and traditions. This all gives him a sense of purpose. Pride in a people.
“A man’s life is always trying to seek things to fill the void in his heart and respecting those who fought and died for you completes you in some way," he said. It's about time and place. Identity and meaning. Ties that bind. And being a grateful Southern son."
Be sure to check out part 2, "Take my stand."
Original blog posted at DissidentMama.net.
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Truth warrior, Jesus follower, wife, and boymom. Apologetics practitioner for Orthodox Christianity, the Southern tradition, homeschooling, and freedom. Recovering feminist-socialist-atheist, graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and retired mainstream journalist turned domesticated belle and rabble-rousing rhetorician. A mama who’s adept at triggering statists, so she’s going to bang as loudly as she can.
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