What Happened at Thomas Jefferson’s University?


University of Virginia, Friday, August 11, 2017. Photographer unknown

University of Virginia, Friday, August 11, 2017. Photographer unknown

The University of Virginia was founded by, among others, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Chief Justice John Marshall. No other university in the United Staes can claim three presidents and a SCOTUS Chief Justice among its founders. Jefferson thought it important enough that he had his role carved on his gravestone.

Friday, a crowd of neo-nazis arrived to wipe their metaphoric feces onto the walls of the university Jefferson founded.

You can make the case that Jefferson, if he were alive, would have been among those counter-protestors who opposed the nazis hate.

The excuse for neo-nazis’ rally was to protest the planned removal of a confederate memorial to Robert E. Lee. Lee, who was, after all, a traitor and oathbreaker, was also a slaveowners.The statue and the other thousand plus Confederate memorials across the country are, in the words of Richmond, Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney,

Equal parts myth and deception, they were the ‘alternative facts’ of their time — a false narrative etched in stone and bronze more than 100 years ago — not only to lionize the architects and defenders of slavery, but to perpetuate the tyranny and terror of Jim Crow and reassert a new era of white supremacy.

The neo-nazi demonstration and the counter protest devovled into a street riot. Bad enough, but then a hate-filled neo-nazi sympathizer drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors, killing one and injuring another 30. Violence is so often the refuge of the incompetent. The overweight, white, unshaven terrorist used his auto as a weapon of terror.

So on the one side you had a crowd of armed thugs, claiming to defend racist, slave-owning thugs, spewing hare and vitriol. On the other side, you had unarmed folks, who objected to the neo-nazis. Any claim that the two sides were equivalent is so wrong as to beggar description.

But in the face of another incident of domestic terrorism, our idiot president said only that he condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” but, conspicuously, did not single out white nationalists or neo-Nazis. And then he walked away, refusing to answer questions. Pressed on whom Trump was blaming, an unnamed White House spokesman told reporters on Saturday: “The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counterprotesters today.”

Of course Trump didn’t condemn or call them what they are, domestic terrorists. They are his supporters. He needs them. And they reacted with glee.

Three presidents and a chief justice founded the University of Virginia. Yesterday, one president betrayed everything the university and those earlier presidents stood for.

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