THOMAS JEFFERSON’S CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA IS FRONT AND CENTER AROUND THE WORLD AT THE TOP OF NEWS FEEDS, IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES IMPARTING THE INSTANTANEOUS “NEW” NEWS OF THE TRAVESTY AND TRAGEDY OF AN ALT-RIGHT RALLY OVER THE REMOVAL OF A BRONZE STATUE OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE HOLDING TIGHT TO HIS BELOVED, BUCKING HORSE TRIGGER.
A tragedy and travesty over the Robert E. Lee statue, REALLY? General Robert E. Lee is a drama king! REALLY? Or, is he?
Perhaps it is WE, We the People who thrive on and ingest drama left, drama right, and drama center. Our government, news outlets, weather reports, churches schools, media boxes, social circles and of course the Internet promote it; and profit from the drama. 24-7.
Quite the drama. Wow and Hmmm at the same time.
A young man drove all the way to Virginia from Ohio to hang with his crib and destroy a life with his fast, cool wheels. For Robert E Lee? REALLY? I ask everyone again, REALLY? You see he, this young man, murdered a young woman, who has a mother.
Not so sure General Robert E. Lee would be proud. Not so sure any West Point graduate of whatever political persuasion would be proud. I sure hope the man’s mother isn’t proud. I doubt she is feeling pride for the boy she birthed. Two mother’s lives forever altered by a boy, in a car.
An ALT-right boy.
General Rober E. Lee was a superior good ole boy, a gentleman, a father, a West Point grad, a General, a Southerner, a lover, and a husband to a God fearing hard working woman who happened to be the great grand-daughter of Martha Washington.
Mary Custis, wife of Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee very reluctantly agreed to lead the Confederate army in the Civil War. He went to battle against his own West Point classmates. That decision pained him but he put County before self.
REALLY? Yes, REALLY. Hmmmm.
Country before self. Community before self. Bizarre and confounding concepts in our era of anger and polarization. Fueled even by our own Commander and Chief. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US? We the people?! The United States of America.
We have become a selfish Nation with a strong emphasis on SELF. ME, ME, ME and only ME. MINE, MINE, MINE MINE! Me, myself and I am right; correct; spot on AND wait for it, ANGRY.
We are all ANGRY, it seems. But why?
Angry is a choice and though the Constitution protects our choices; society now feels that We the People (read ME) can and will decide what must be YOUR choice, and YOUR thoughts and YOUR opinions. WOW! ANGER IS TOXIC. We the People are now toxic. Toxicity is often fatal.
We the people love the word ALTERNATIVE, (which implies choice) but have dictated that the ALT prefix means something else, as in NOT like ME, so I don’t like that ALT. That immigrant, that neighbor, that lefty, that woman, than man, that sexual orientation, that choice, that ME.
I am NOT all right. the kids are NOT all right. The Washington machine is NOT all right. Political correctness is NOT all right. The bully pulpit is NOT all right. Sticks and stones are NOT all right. Nasty words are NOT all right. The world is NOT all right.
Charlottesville is NOT all right. And no where is it all right for hate, ignorance, violence, moral shaming and political grandstanding to drown out the human in humanity.
THIS IS A TIME TO LISTEN. A time to walk a block, a mile or 10,000 miles with our neighbors or even those strangers. A time to turn, turn, turn.
Our Nation’s founding fathers (birthed by founding mothers) listened to each other and even debated each other in a kinder and gentler democratic way.
Manifest Destiny then became out Nation’s rallying cry and We the People went catapulting ourselves West with the ‘devil may care’ attitude that nothing will stand in our way!
We the People corralled Native Americans in a gated wilderness. Those who wouldn’t go quietly; well, YOU should know that history. If you need a refresher: Google Geronimo, Trail of tears and Wounded Knee.
Wounded, hmmmm. Wounded, YES.
Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast.
We the People wound each other in our discourse. We are: driven over; talked over; shouted over; lorded over; passed over. It seems We the People is over. This democracy. This kinder and gentler Nation. It is time to STOP the angry discourse and START to rabidly LISTEN to each other. We the People, are you listening?
Listening to each other. A revolutionary concept in our rabidly polarized and intolerant world. We the people are fractured.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE HAVES AND HAVE NOTS. THIS IS ABOUT DEMONSTRATING COURTESY, AND KINDNESS, AND GENTLENESS, WITH AN OPEN HEART AND MIND TO THE OTHERS WE ARE ALWAYS MALIGNING
This National civil war of opinion and narcissism and ALT THIS and ALT THAT is making us a nastier and divisive Nation. America is not even close to being GREAT AGAIN. We the People are drowning in the noise.
Time to hit then mute button and simultaneously press Control-ALT-Delete. Time for a RESTART. REBOOT.
Time We the People should simply STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and return to kinder and gentler relations. We the People, let’s make America, each other and our world great together. It takes a village, ladies and gentlemen, a GLOBAL village.
Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Wednesday night, August 16, 2017 in Charlottesville.
* The author, who now lives in Vero Beach, FL, previously lived in Charlottesville, VA for seven years. She is a recognized writer, having studied economics and international studies at the University of South Carolina Honors College.
Vero Communique strives to encourage a free and open exchange of opinions. Through discussions like these we can all learn more about the topics themselves and the perspectives of others.