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Violence flares as US population splits into opposing ‘camps’ after Charlottesville clashes

Published on Aug 15, 2017

Two days after bloody clashes in the US town of Charlottesville, Donald Trump has bowed to overwhelming pressure and made a second statement, denouncing racism and hate groups. Much of the media still criticized the president for his delayed response. He then headed to New York, where he was met by crowds of protesters outside Trump Tower accusing him of racism. 
Caleb Maupin looks at how America’s political debate is now all about labelling.

The impression that this video offers is that everyone thinks one thing or the other about one topic: there is no one topic related to these dreadful events.

It is difficult struggling to think through and write about the sordid events of last week-end with any hope for sanity in this world. Yes, in this world: not just in the United States.

Efforts by media and political groups unwittingly continue to divide the country by using superficial, demographic groupings that allow opportunists, oligarchs, and the government to push their scarcity narrative that pits these groups against each other as they while they as forced into the legacy habits

Governor Schwarzenegger offers leadership to citizens

like vying to secure support for various resources, among them healthcare, education, infrastructure …often based on zip codes, in other words, prioritized by wealth. If the Civil War has any relevance to these situations today, one of them is the way that the government chose which areas to restore after the war, often favouring significant business development in landowner areas.

Family Legacy: “Good-night John Boy”

First, let’s go back to The Waltons as television series set in the Depression era of the Blue Ridge Mountains You may not be familiar enough with Virginia geography to realize that the series takes place around the Charlottesville area and John Boy attend the University eventually.

[Please keep in mind that no one talks the way they did on TV: they must have researched Tennessee after the Virginians ran them off with shotguns: that was our theory. You might recall:

  • The family situation with three generations living in the same home.
  • The episode when the Mother character, played by Michael Learned, learns to drive.
  • The episode when one of the children needs glasses.
  • The Waltons’ Holiday Special when the Father, played by Ralph Waite, has to reach home after finding work in neighbouring Basic City where factories, like Dupont, were located (later Basic City joined together with a town called Teasville and incorporated into the independent City of Waynesboro, Virginia… Yes, I was raised in the area).
  • The episode when John Boy, the eldest son played by the well-received and known actor Richard Thomas, marries.

Surprisingly, the attitudes, culture, and pace of life for ‘the locals’ has not changed that much into the 21st century. The population is largely provincial instead of ‘contemporary’, regardless of where they might live now (in the countryside, the mountains, of in the towns and cities nearby). The culture is derived from the post-colonial era and (despite what you saw on television or online) Jefferson’s commitment to education, law, and courtliness influences everyday life. This is still true, in the mountainous family-populated areas of Virginia where in the family structure is the strongest institution …stronger than education or the church, except of course when a church is largely a congregation of family relations.

The local television for years blocked programming from Public Broadcasting Station (PBS), and other ‘outside’ sources along with being in the mountains, cable is required to get most of the national channels. A large community of Mennonites is nested in the nearby valley. Antique car shows are popular. There are apple orchards and wineries.

So, the recent outrage over overt ‘white supremacy’ might seem shocking to the rest of the nation, or even to a small portion of the locals; however, the only thing ‘new’ about it is the fact that it was televised and word of it ‘got out’ to other communities. Yes: it is shocking and horrible. Regardless of the anachronistic feel of such a display of hate: that hate is there, everyday, in many people no matter where they are located which I would attribute to deep-seeded resentment, largely over material wealth.

I would submit to you for consideration, the idea that these same people have been, for generations, reaching back before the Civil War and slavery, before the American Revolution, before their families even reached America socialized with the mindset of structured society within an existence where scarcity is the norm and people have to contend with their skills for work, food, of any sort of recognition. Despite the general continuity of existence in that Virginia region, their has been a steady influx of ‘foreigners’ (which has nothing to do with citizenship or nationality) …people from the ‘outside’ who have taken jobs traditionally held by locals.

People who are talented are scorned. People who have wealth have acquired it through craftiness. The Law was made for and by the Landowners. The most socially despised group that no one would have time for or like is that of women who are ‘opinionated’.

Enter the Jews

The real reason that I am writing to you today (from Seattle) is that despite of it all, the Charlottesville area was home for me. I was ‘a local’ with expectations on when to say please and thank-you. I was used to the attitudes and the quirks: even the ones that held to the idea that women and any of those ‘other people’ were okay as long as they stayed in their place.

It was all attributed in my mind to extended, post-colonial eccentricity until one day when I was about seven. When my mother had a phone call from a newly-acquainted friend. She had been serving on a board for Human Relations in our community: the educators were interested in supporting open-mindedness on cultures. [One Japanese restaurant. One place with thick pizza made by New York Sicilians. People were more included to go their if they accepted being called Italian. There were even some Californians who opened a health food store….] So, things were getting eclectic as a comfortable pace (early to mid-90s), until a family of Jews entered the mix.

The family of a doctor (his wife and a few children), they had been in the area for about two years. Community Human Relations welcomed them. There were friendly cocktail parties and polite political debates. Still, one Wednesday afternoon, my mother answered the phone and we found out what had gone on for them in the background: slashed tires, signs on their yard, overturned trash cans and lots of unfriendly loud talk whenever they were present. The reason that the doctor’s wife called was to say thank-you for my mother’s hospitality and to, at the same time, say good-bye. Why were they leaving? Well, some of the good Christians in the community had come to their home in the night, killed their family’s pet cat, and hung it in front of their door along with some words of encouragement that you need not imagine since you've seen them on the news recently.

I can remember that my mother was searching for the reason that anyone would object to having such a pleasant family. ‘Those were nice people.’ that was the only thing that she would say tome. [She may have shared much more with my father or siblings: I was the youngest. I can remember not being able to articulate the level of confusion in my mind.]

So, they left. After they were gone, a few people were open about them having peculiar ideas, but nice in general. Most people were glad to get back to their idea of normal.

If you think that education is the problem, or lack of exposure or that religion could ignite these passions: I disagree.

It is a shift is the perception of our leadership and influence from those who are steering our government.

Our continue economic downturn and need for quality in infrastructure: education, healthcare, transportation.

Healthcare Does Not Listen to Customers
Culprits behind Local Tensions

Poor representation, healthcare, lack of opportunity, and a loss of dignity will be at the root of the community’s problems.

Our nation is not ‘split’ of over injustice or inequality or terrorism: it is a Pareto situation: 80% are strong for equality and justice. 20% are ruled by despair or greed or fear of failure, i.e., not being able to pull themselves through life or provide adequately for their family. Frustration and uncertainty push them toward the scarcity mentality that tells them they are threatened by ‘outsiders’ from their geography or community or religion. Those concerns are ignited by partisan failure to deliver without accountability that offers scapegoats who must be responsible for hard times.

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