Some folks may know that the Charlottesville City Council took comments from the audience at their meeting Tuesday night, Jan 2, about doing away with Lee-Jackson Day as a city holiday. Video of the whole meeting is online at this link: http://charlottesville.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1058
But you might enjoy some snippets...
"...we are, we are not the descendants but-- yes we are the descendants of racial disparity of the people that Lee and Jackson brought to the plantations when slavery first came to Charlottesville...."
Lee and Jackson brought people to the plantations when slavery first came to Charlottesville? Who knew? I didn't know they were even born then! Floggers like Levin chide heritage folks on getting history wrong ... but you know they will NEVER, EVER correct this lady, because it is politically incorrect to do so.
"...I am shaking I'm so disturbed by the number of people who would come here and try to re-write the history of this racist-ass country and act like the civil war was about things that -- states' rights, yeah, fuck states' rights, it was about the right of states to uphold this capitalist economy built on the back of slaves and the genocide of the indigenous people, and that does continue to this day, and it continues to this day in my country, too, you know, because of the colonization of European countries of places like the Americas and places like the Philippine Islands.The USA is not her country? Then what's she doing addressing a city council meeting? There are people upset some folks came from Richmond, in the self-same state of Virginia, to address the city council, but don't utter a peep when a foreigner does it?
You know people are still trying to extract resources, raping our land and our people to control us and our bodies. And I for sure will not stand here and let people come into these chambers and act like they're going to school us on history. We don't need you to tell us whys about history. furthermore, you know this notion that these people deserve to be recognized. Lots and lots and lots of people have not been recognized by the history of this country.
I am sure that I am probably the only one in this room who knows about (name unintelligible) and (name unintelligible). They were at the forefront of the labor struggle in the grape fields of California. They were Filipinos, too, who were forced to come here because of the colonization of my people. Name a day after them! Name a day after the countless black folks who fought for their freedom, name a day after the countless black folks who were pioneers in astrophysics, who were pioneers in chemistry, who were pioneers in history, who were pioneers in anthropology. Name a day after those people!
Why do we have to keep naming days after dead white men? There are plenty of people who have done a lot of things for this country and nobody ever recognize them, I don't, I'm not buying this argument that they deserve anything."
Too bad Gabriella didn't name some of the countless blacks who were pioneers in astrophysics and chemistry and history and anthropology. If there were countless blacks who did that, she should have been able to name a few, don't you think? (And you can't "name a day after them" if you don't know their names.)
Lastly, we have Phineas T. McGillicuddy, who takes top honors for clowning in my book, except that his vicious attack on Thomas Jefferson is not a bit funny.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Phineas T. McGillicuddy and I'm here tonight because matters of the gravest concern and utmost importance have been brought to my attention having to do with certain maladies that are afflicting the city government of Charlottesville, Virginia. Now these range in depth and severity from simple foolishness and incompetence to grave malfeasance and skullduggery and moral turpitude. But I'm here to tell you dear council members never fear because Phineas T. McGillicuddy's magical healing elixer is good for what ails you. One drop of this formula will act as a truth serum and it will drive out the lies and hypocrisy from amongst you. For those of you so unfortunate to have been born without a backbone this will offer you the courage of your convictions.
But I digress.
Because the problems afflicting the city of Charlottesville are very, very serious indeed. Why, did you know, that when your very own department of social services kidnaps a child from a family for placement in social services that 57% of the time that child is from a black family when black families only make up 20% of the population. It's enough to make my blood boil, I tell you. This is significantly worse than the state average and for those of you who are familiar with Ol' Virginny, as in you've actually lived here, you understand that that is a fact that's nothing to be proud of, not for a city that has just claimed the title of friendliest city in the USA. Or is that friendliest city for wealthy bla-- white families only.
And I assure you these problems neither begin nor end with the racist department of social services. Two years ago you appointed a commission to study the very simple question of why black children come into contact with every aspect of the juvenile justice system much more frequently than their white counterparts. Now I could have save you much trouble if you'd have just asked me from the get-go. But two years later wre have a lot of bureaucratic doublespeak. We have a lot of well-paid public officials congratulating themselves on a job well done and not any change at all.
Same goes for why is Chief Longo yet to account for the fact that seventy percent of stop and frisk are on black people in this city? The answer is very simple. The city of Charlottesville is as racist as the day is long. Now can we dispense with the conditions and the task forces, with the handwringing and the studying the statistics and figure out just what in the hell are we gonna do about it now?
Now finally, I would like to offer on a five point my sincere thanks for Ms. Smith for you inviitation for me to attend this fine meeting tonight and offer a resolution for your consideration:
Here's video of McGillicuddy reading his "resolution."WHEREAS the City of Charlottesville was founded by Thomas Jefferson, a scoundrel of the most unsavory variety, indeed, a slave rapist, and INSOMUCH AS the evils of racism, began during his time, continue unabated to afflict the City of Charlottesville to this day, BE IT SO RESOLVED that from this day henceforth, no longer shall the City of Charlottesville celebrate racist Confederate war criminals, but shall instead honor the memories of Nat Turner and John Brown, in hopes that one day, we shall be rid of the foul legacy of Thomas Jefferson.And finally, in closing, I would like to remind Mayor Huja you may have overlooked under the list prior to my appointed time to speak was Rosea Parker, if she has not already come please do be so kind as to offer her the opportunity. Thank very much for your time and I hope you have a very fine evening.
What I find interesting is the post and comment thread at Kevin Levin's Civil War Memory (aka "We Hate the South") blog. In a comment highly illustrative of his damn-them-if-they-do-or-if-they-don't mentality, he mentions that Susan Hathaway did not mention that she is a Virginia Flagger. Perhaps Kevin, for all his pouring over the video, didn't notice that speakers have only moments to speak -- and that Susan didn't waste a moment of her time mentioning her Flagger affiliation, her UDC affiliation -- or any others.
He also sez, "The speaker that followed Hathaway, however, does identify himself as a Flagger and even goes as far as to threaten the city council."
But Levin didn't mention what kind of threat. The speaker threatened the city council with putting up a big flag in Charlottesville. Maybe Levin wants his readers to think it was a physical threat of bodily harm or something. Who knows, perhaps his brain has been turned to mush with PC, so there's no telling what he meant or what he wanted.
I left several comments at Levin's blog, replying to some of the comments, but he blocked them. They were not disrespectful, they dealt with the subject... I can only conclude that they were too truthful and made too much sense for him to let through...
For example, when Pat Young asked, "How were Karen Cooper’s remarks not ruled out of order?" and I replied, "In the same manner, and for the same reason, that the speaker who dropped the F-bomb wasn't ruled out of order."
Some commenter named Kristoffer replied to an earlier comment comparing the Confederates to the colonial patriots with this jewel: "The men of 1776 revolted to create a new nation that would fulfill the ideals of representation and that all men are created equal . The men of 1861 revolted to preserve their human property. Don’t ever compare the two again."
My comment said something like, "The ideals may have been different, but the reality of each was the same."
Unbelievable that there are Confederacy-haters so delusional that they think the Declaration's "all men are created equal" either magically poofs out of existence 89 years of slavery in the USA, or renders it so inconsequential it isn't worth mentioning. What good are your flippin' ideals if the reality is the exact opposite?
At this point, I have to explain something to Levin I can't believe he cannot figure out for himself. He wants to know what Karen Cooper's comments at the meeting had to do with the Lee Jackson discussion.
He quotes Karen, "I’m just sick of liberals always babying black people. If they act like babies, they will stay like babies until you make them grow up. Make them grow up." and then he asks, "While she spoke with some passion it’s not clear to me what this has to do with maintaining Lee-Jackson Day or anything having to do with the Confederate past. In fact, I suspect that this speech had a negative impact on city councilors."
She said at the outset she was speaking in favor of keeping the holiday, and my impression was she thinks the effort to remove it is simply more of the babying blacks that she is sick of. (I also suspect she was reacting to the "circus" atmosphere in the meeting hall.)
One has to wonder, though, if Levin also thinks Phineas T. McGillicuddy's speech might also have a negative impact on city councilors, whom he accuses of, simple foolishness, incompetence, grave malfeasance, skullduggery, moral turpitude, hypocrisy, and spinelessness.
(It did also occur to me to wonder if blacks, including youths, in Charlottesville are stopped and frisked more, or encounter the juvenile justice system more, because they more often behave suspiciously, or commit more crimes? Apparently, that never even occurred to "McGillicuddy" -- or Levin.)
Although you can't hear it well on the video, those who were present said the meeting really was a circus, with catcalls and insults frequently yelled out when speakers were addressing the council.
Who can remember when government proceedings were dignified and professional? I can.Why did the Charlottesville City Council put up with the circus in the audience? Why did they rule nobody out of order, as Pat Young seemed to expect?
I'm reminded of floggers suggesting that the VaFlaggers picketing the VMFA with flags will have opposite the desired effect; that is, will cause museum officials to dig in their heels and oppose returning the flags to the chapel. Do the floggers also imagine that the Charlottesville City Council will bristle at the charges of racism, cowardice, immorality and dig their heels in to keep the Lee Jackson holiday?
Of course not. Why? One guess is that they don't want to see Charlottesville burn -- to become Ferguson East.... I simply note, you don't have to worry about that from the Virginia Flaggers or other Confederate heritage organizations.
The only threats the VaFlaggers make is of putting up big flags by the highway... a threat they've made good on three times in Virginia (with more in the works). And nobody has been harmed by it.
Get ready for your big flags, Charlottesville....
Clown images: Morguefile