The Charlottesville Newspeak

Episode 49 - The Charlottesville Newspeak

"Very fine people on both sides."  This Trump quote has become one of the most divisive in his entire Presidency.  Joe Biden listed this quote as the top reason he is running for President.  Just today, embattled Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler used this quote as logic for resistance.  The narrative being pushed and promoted to this day is that President Trump referred to white supremacists as fine people.

Is it true?  It seems to be common knowledge that it is true.  Let's take a dive into the foundational facts surrounding the Charlottesville incident, and piece together the real story behind the rhetoric.

The Charlottesville Incident may have happened on August 12th 2017, but it really started earlier that year in February.  It was in February that the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove a statue of Robert E Lee.  The Vice Mayor, and a couple city council members were offended by the presence of the statue, and they made it their mission to remove it.  This stance is not unique to the Charlottesville government.  The debate on statues is going on all over the South and our country in general.

Robert E Lee was a Confederate Army General.  He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia.  And he won many battles in the American Civil War both offensively and defensively.  Do you know where he was born?  He was born in Virginia.  He died in Virginia.  And he led the Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War.  Charlottesville is located smack dab in the middle of territory Robert E Lee called home, and there were tens of thousands like him in Virginia in his day.

Now, I need you to explore the concept of perspective for a moment.  I'm from Washington State.  Born and bread Washingtonian.  I could give two shits about Civil War era heritage.  How about you?  Where are you from?  Do you care much about individuals that lived through the Civil War?  Probably not.  However, when you are from an area where slavery occurred, and great legendary battles were waged, you are far more likely to care about these cultural flash points .... You very much care about the individuals that shared your land.  Culture is born from history and tradition.  My point is that myself in Washington State or maybe you in your state, we do not have an understanding of the depth of connection to culture these local folks have. So let's try to keep this local to Charlottesville, because that is where the event occurred, and the local culture is the foundation for the incident.  

So over the next few months the statue became a political football to toss around both locally, state-wide, and nationally.  A lawsuit was filed against the Charlottesville City Council, and in May was the first confrontation between people who were for and against the removal of the Robert E Lee statue.  This is where it becomes clear that locally in Charlottesville this battle isn't just about the statue of Robert E Lee, at its base it is about a culture shift in Charlottesville.  In a broader context, this battle over a statue was just another object in a shift in local power structure.  For example, Charlottesville was designated a sanctuary city for undocumented migrants.

Ok, at this point I feel like I might get lost down a rabbit hole of local politics, and investigation of individual characters.  This snapshot should show that a broad number of diverse people in the Charlottesville local area have an interest in the statue.  To see it remain, and to take it down.  The May incident was a primer for the August incident.  In May, there was a small skirmish between protesters of the removal, and counter protesters.  It is significant to me because the May incident acted like a postcard to the entire region as to what could be expected in August.

August 12th, a group received a permit to protest the removal of the Robert E Lee statue.  The event was named the Unite the Right Rally.  It should have been named the Extremist Skirmish so normies would know not to come.

Here is the timeline of the Unite the Right Rally on August 12th 2017.
 - 8:30am Demonstrators begin to arrive.
 - 10:30am The battle begins between protesters and counter protesters or one extremist group against another extremist group.
 - 11:35am Law enforcement declares unlawful assembly, aka pack up and get the hell out.
 - 11:52am The Governor of Virginia declares a state of emergency.
 - 1:19pm President Trump Tweets:
"We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"  
 - 1:40pm Heather Heyer is killed, and 19 others injured when a deranged protestor rams their car into counter protestors.
 - 3:30pm President makes his first televised address of the Charlottesville incident where he was celebrating the signage of a Veterans Healthcare Bill.
 - 5pm Two policemen are killed in a helicopter crash responding to the protest.
 - 9:46pm The deranged motorist James Fields Jr is arrested for second degree murder. 

Let's hear the Trump presser from the day of the event.  Less than two hours after the senseless killing of Heather Heyer.  Is this where he stated "very fine people, on both sides?" 

How about the press conference two days later.  He delivered a prepared statement.  It is so important for all of us to drill down to the raw information.  Ulterior motives and propaganda fly at all of us from all sides.  Still no fine people comment.

Finally we take a listen to the third press conference where Trump is announcing important infrastructure spending, and he takes questions from reporters.  This is where our analysis of all of Trumps words and the context of the moment come into play.  The questions from the press are incredulous, and without perspective.  Even when Trump explains himself fully, and even condemns all the factions the press wants him to condemn, they are still left demanding more.  They can't see nuance.  Can you?

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