Sunday, August 20, 2017

Arnold Schwarzenegger's message for President Trump and Neo-Nazis on Charlottesville violence

Link to video here.

'Whatabout' Those Other Historical Figures? Trump's Question Answered (NPR link):

"So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? ... [Jefferson] was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" — President Trump, Aug. 15, 2017

The president made this statement Tuesday while jabbing at reporters over a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists protested the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

And he used one of his standard rhetorical techniques, "whataboutism."

While defending the protesters and claiming that they weren't all white supremacists, he changed the subject to attack others. "What about the alt-left?" he said, when asked about the white nationalist alt-right. ("Alt-left" is a term seemingly invented for whataboutism, making liberals seem like the moral equivalents of the "alt-right," whose members coined that term themselves.)

"Are we going to take down statues of George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?" Trump asked, given Washington's and Jefferson's slave ownership. He added, "You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

Well, let's take on those questions. The president is not the first person to ask.

Washington did own slaves — and does not get a pass for freeing them at the end of his life. Jefferson was a "major slave owner," too — and is even more to be criticized, because he understood that slavery was wrong, calling it a "moral depravity" and a "hideous blot."

Nor were they alone among our Founding Fathers: James Madison was a slave owner; even Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves before the practice was banned in Pennsylvania. Slavery was so deeply entrenched in the economy that it touched nearly everyone who lived before the Civil War, even those who did not own a slave.

This is an awkward reality for the keepers of memorials and historic sites. Keepers of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home, have been forced to wrestle with the reality that he took Indian land, used enslaved laborers on multiple plantations and even personally chased escaped slaves. The Hermitage has responded by expanding displays showing the dark side of this historic figure, but it is not planning to tear down the house.

So "whatabout" them? Must they all go if Robert E. Lee goes?

Not necessarily, because they are not all the same.

Some figures stood for something larger. Washington guided the foundation of a country that eventually preserved freedom for all. Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, in which a single phrase — "that all men are created equal" — became a hammer that later generations would use to help smash the chains of slavery.

It's possible to make a case for honoring such men, so long as we are also honest about their flaws. They were participants in a great experiment in self-government, which has expanded over time to embrace more and more people of all races, not to mention women, too.

So "whatabout" Lee? What did he stand for?

Lee, who is connected by marriage to the family of Washington, resigned from the Army to fight against his country, on the Confederate side in the Civil War.

Then and later, Confederate apologists dismissed the idea that they were fighting to defend slavery. They said they were fighting for "states' rights" or against Northern oppression. But conflict over slavery was what drove the fight for states' rights and divided the country for years before the war. The election of Abraham Lincoln, a president who was critical of slavery, triggered the rebellion.

And the Confederate vice president, Alexander H. Stephens, was more frank than others in stating the rebels' aims. In an 1861 speech, he declared that the "cornerstone" of the Confederacy was "that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition."

Other Confederates may have fought for different reasons; it is said that Lee went over to the rebel side because he could not bear to fight against his native Virginia. But Stephens' "cornerstone" speech accurately describes the larger cause that Lee willingly served and generally accepted: a drive to overturn the idea of equality, which Stephens called an "error." This cause was the reason that many Confederate statues were built in the era of Jim Crow segregation, from after Reconstruction to the civil rights movement starting in the 1950s. Aside from Southern "heritage" or "pride," many explicitly represented white supremacy.

There is still a case to be made for Lee as a brilliant general, who won battle after battle and kept his army together for years, even though it was massively outnumbered and undersupplied. He is a significant figure in the American story.

Ulysses S. Grant, the general who defeated him, gave the best epitaph of Lee, saying the Confederate general "had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought."

But let's be honest. In Charlottesville over the weekend, the "Unite the Right" protesters chanted "blood and soil"; others listened to Richard Spencer, who has called for an all-white homeland. Members of one group, Identity Evropa, "seem to revel in goading counter-protesters into violent clashes," according to a profile of a member on KQED. Counterprotesters were indeed goaded into clashes — and a car, allegedly driven by an Ohio man on the white-nationalist side, drove into them, killing a woman.

Is it remotely possible that Spencer and Identity Evropa and the driver of a Dodge Challenger came to defend the statue of Lee because of his skill in military tactics and strategy?

To have such defenders says a lot about the cause that Lee represented. To have the president of the United States compare Lee to Washington is simply, factually wrong.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

64 comments:

  1. Being a history buff, your interpretations are somewhat better than the made up history printed in middle and high schools books being used and taught currently.
    Your last two paragraphs were a bit rushed and therefore show your bais on historic interpretations written to fit your needs for todays debate in your blog.

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    1. So in your opinion Robert E. Lee and George Washington are the same?

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    2. I'm not 6:15 but I do see a distinction between the two and the Moderator is to be commended for that. But the slippery slope argument cannot be easily dismissed. For the far left, the Confederate statues are the low hanging fruit as some other person pointed out. But the far left will not stop there. They feel America is illegitimate and based on a lie. It has been the only line of defense against fascism and communism. People like George Soros would love to see America's demise.

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    3. So are you grateful for the neo-nazis who protested in front of the statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia? Are these the people you see defending America?

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    4. I am grateful for all the people like myself who do not believe that Robert E Lee hated black people. He was a man of his times and should be judged by that standard. We went to war in support of his home state of Virginia and not to keep black people in chains. You probably support abortion. If 20 years from now technology improves to the extent that we somehow can read the mind of the baby as it goes through that horrific procedure do we then judge all people by the new standard? Do you have any blemishes in your life 8:42. Well we all do. General Lee is an important historical figure who should be judged by the totality of his life including his sublime efforts at reconciliation after the war. Because you probably don't know your history you can only make superficial knee jerk arguments to make you feel morally superior to those who take a more nuanced approach to our history.

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    5. "I am grateful for all the people like myself who do not believe that Robert E Lee hated black people."

      Somebody get the butterfly net.

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    6. Lee was judged by the standards of his time- he lost. Militarily and morally. That's why his family property was confiscated and his yard turned into Arlington National Cemetery. And even then the grave plots were segregated

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    7. Treason should never be treated lightly. Both then and today.

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    8. I don't think we can cherry pick one quote from Alexander Stephens as the entire basis for the war between the North and South and assume that the 99 percent of soldiers who fought and died for the Confederacy who never owned slaves only waged that terrible war because they supported slavery. Sorry but it's not that simple. Take the time to read about 50 books on the subject before leaping to easy conclusions and easy slogans.

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  2. Thanks Mod. It is time this gets discussed out in the open. Especially in lilly white, somewhat Tea Party Sierra Madre. Another issue with Southern States, is that their attitude is that the Black person, and for that matter all people of color, are born inferior and created to wait on, and live without any rights of the constitution. That attitude still exists. Yes, we do need to take care of everyone, but we must learn the honest history, not the made up history and remember NO ONE IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.

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  3. Haven't more crimes against humanity been done by white people, than blacks and mid-Easterns, here in the US?

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    1. perhaps but its not about racial blame now - it's about 'e pluribus unem'

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    2. 7:07 is a classic example of where this all goes. I venture to say that most black people are glad they live in the America based upon our founding documents than back in Africa. I'm not justifying slavery but Native Americans did it long before the white man arrived as did every other society on earth going back thousands of years including Africans. Let's be real here. America is one of the only counties on earth where the principles in our founding documents culminated in the election and re-election of a black President. But for the left it will never be enough until America is destroyed.

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    3. The people who demonstrate against neo-nazis and the KKK are those who are defending America. If the destruction of this great country is imminent, it is the likes of you that poses the greatest threat.

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    4. 9:06 you're a total fraud. An extremist living behind an anonymous facade of normalcy

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    5. You need to counter arguments with logic and facts rather than mere name calling. You can't do it which is why you resort to personal attacks.

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    6. No, 9:06 really is a total fraud. Probably lives in the memory ward at the Kensington.

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  4. At the outset of the Civil War. President Lincoln selected Robert E Lee to command all the Union Armies. Lee refused, not because he hated black people but because he saw himself as a citizen of Virginia first. Many people back then had more loyalty towards their state than towards their country. The average Civil War soldier, probably 99 percent, did not own slaves. They did not fight that long, bloody and terrible war because they wanted to keep black people in chains. History is more complicated than what people are saying today. That is if you know our history. I'm much more concerned about the Alt Left and Progressives than I am about a small group of neoNazis who have no power in today's America. Give me just one example of when a far right group stopped a speech on a college campus? Until today when have you heard the name David Duke. Yet the far left blocks speeches all the time. What about the far left Bernie Sanders supporter who mowed down a bunch of Republican Congressmen on a baseball field. What about the riots in Berkeley. I'm far more concerned about the leftists who want to shut down free speech and turn America into some kind of totalitarian society than I am about a small group of skinheads. But as Rahm Emmanual once said: "Don't let a tragedy go to waste". The Democrats, Progressives and Leftists are exploiting the Charlottesville tragedy for all its worth to hurt America and hurt Trump. However, they won't stop at the statues. That's just low hanging fruit. The goal of these groups and people like George Soros who fund them is to destroy the founding principles of our America and they will not stop with the statues. For them, the greatest country on the face of the globe was illegitimate from the outset and needs to be destroyed. That's the ultimate goal here. It's not about the statues.

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    1. If you were a politician, and the head of the opposition party issued statements that showed sympathy for Nazis and the KKK, wouldn't you exploit it for all its worth? The president is an ass. In a free society that can, and should, be pointed out as often as possible. And unless the statue of of Robert E. Lee is going to somehow magically animate and lead America's armed forces against its enemies, I think we're going to be alright. Oh, and as far as your "whaddabout" on the guy who shot Congressman Scalise? Thanks for proving the articles point.

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    2. No I don't exploit tragedies 7:56 particular when they are the exception and not the rule. That only raises the thermometer and that's how people get killed. The left does that and that's right out of Saul Alinkys playbook, "Rules for Radicals". People can admire Lee and Jackson for their courage and bravery and historical significance without being neoNazis. I don't think people on the right exploit tragedies or tar Bernie Sanders because of one crazy supporter. The hypocracy of the far left knows no bounds.

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    3. Thanks for the "Alinky" chuckle. Again, what is being discussed here is based on Trump's actual statements. All of this other fruit bat nonsense you're throwing around here is way besides the point. You are asking people to shut up about nazis and KKK. Nope, ain't gonna do it. No matter how politically inconvenient that is for their sympathizers in the White House.

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    4. "Give me just one example of when a far right group stopped a speech on a college campus?" I guess you never heard of Nazi Germany? or Mussolini in Italy or George Wallace in Alabama,etc,etc,etc.
      If you repeat a lie enough it does not become true......
      The traitors of the confederacy lost their war against the USA.
      You will never again be able to own another human in the name of states rights or any other reason.

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    5. Wild and crazy stuff, man. Republicans like Ahnold, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake has spoken out on this issue. Every Democrat has had something to say about how unhinged Trump's statements on the alt-right have been. So who are these people taking the side of nazi demonstrators? Some kind of crazy new radicals is my guess.

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    6. Nice statistic- ' probably 99% didn't own slaves'. Add in the other 1% and you still have 100% TRAITORS!

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    7. You are living in the past 8:33. In the real world and the present world, the totalitarian left is the one trying to curtail free speech and they often resort to pretty thuggish and violent tactics. Go to many college campuses and see which side is shutting down free speech. Look what happened to Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yannopoulas. Please give me one example of a leftist speaker who has been prevented from speaking on a college campus by a far right group. I just want one.

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    8. Milo? The guy who got fired from Breitbart for advocating child molesting? Lost his book deal? Yeah, you certainly do have some fine heroes there, dude. The alt right is shot through with weird creeps.

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  5. Trump was right that many people who marched did not want to see our history, warts and all, erased by a bunch of far leftists and anarchists who don't care about our history and don't even know about our history. Admittedly there were people there who were also nazis and other wackos. But that doesn't mean there is no argument against removing the statues. It doesn't make you a bad person to say that the statues should stay. But it's not about the statues for the far left. They don't like America. They are the same kind of people now running the country in Venezuela. They are like the Taliban tearing down statues in Afganistan. They are like the people who came to power in Iran and destroyed every remnant of the Shah. Look how those countries turned out. They didn't exactly end up with more freedom. Many Democrats, Progressives, Leftists want to take down America the same way. They are exploiting every opportunity. That's why as racial relations get better, we had a black President, more opportunities than ever for minorities it's never going to be enough. Racism is now just a vehicle to stoke the fires of to get at the real goal. Destroy our founding principles. That's what this is all about.

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    1. America's founding principles are based on the Confederacy? Damn. Are you David Duke?

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    2. 40,000 people in Boston marched peacefully against a handful of alt-right so-called "free speech" advocates. Clownish individuals who cowered in a gazebo behind a line of Boston PD. You mean to the thousands who protested these fools were all anarchists bent on destroying America? Honestly, you need to come up with something much better than what you have posted here. As it is this suggests that you are not dealing from a full deck.

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    3. Racial relations are only getting better for Caucasians.
      "That's why as racial relations get better, we had a black President, more opportunities than ever for minorities it's never going to be enough." You realize that sounds,and is,insane talk....Maybe in Tennessee the illiterate can believe you but not in an educated populace....

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    4. Well said 7:38A

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    5. Poor Trumplet has been reduced to congratulating himself.

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    6. 7:38 is an uneducated racist moral coward.

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    7. 7:38 you absolute idiot troll- Iran had a democratically elected president who was removed from office by the US and Britain because he would concede to their hegemony. The Shah was imposed upon the people of Iran by the US. Of course they had a revolution. All these governments you cite are the worse off from decades and centuries of Anglo intervention and exploitation. Real some real books and you'll realize how stupid you sound

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  6. No such thing as the alt left. Fake post.

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  7. Trump on the Invasion of France and Poland, the Blitz, D-Day, Auschwitz, etc: "There's blame on both sides."

    Followed by silence from Pence, McConnell, Ryan, and the rest of Putin's Republican/Alt-Right traitor coalition.

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  8. The alt righties are going wild man bananas today. If you oppose nazis you support destroying America? Sheer idiocy.

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  9. Senate Republicans getting fed up with Trump
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/347183-senate-republicans-getting-fed-up-with-trump

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  10. Check me if I'm wrong but I believe the states where the most white supremist and nazi come from are states that get the most federal aid and have a lower educational system than California.

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    1. Yeah, the red states. No jobs, bad schools and lots and lots of welfare.

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    2. California bad schools, high welfare, few jobs. Good weather. Haha

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    3. 6th largest economy in the world. Go try Alabama. I hear they tax you by the tooth there.

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  11. Nice video from Ahnold. Some of the Trumpies commenting here need to pull their heads out of their fannies and watch it.

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  12. One of those practice what I preach states?

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  14. 11:01 and like Utah and some other states, California pays more to the Federal Government than we get back. This practice is what allows other less fortunate states to survive.

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  15. Brovo 7:38am. I watched Europe become progressive; now all of us are witness to the outcomes of following what the alt-left offers.
    America offers freedom and democracy to all her citizens and those seeking asylum, no other nation compares. God Bless America.

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    1. 'Alt-left' is a made up word by right-wing fanatics.

      No one is buying your B.S.

      Europe is awesome and much better than America in many ways

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  16. Does any of this blah blah today do anything? All politics is local, but does this relieve anyone? Just wondering openly.

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    1. People often like to discuss political issues. If you don't like it why are you here?

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    2. There is a half person in the highest office in the land, and I for one am deeply grateful whenever an American shows genuine knowledge and the ability to cogently present factual information.
      All is not lost.
      So yes, this blah blah does something - it affirms that America is better than its temporary "leadership."

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  17. Some would call this good therapy . Some may call this listening to others views. Hopefully no one gets their nickers in too big a knot.

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    1. If you don't like The Tattler go read Facebook. Everyone there is nice as pie. Really!

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  18. I voted and support the President. Politicians, the likes of Arnold, are out for themselves.
    Durning the last political push for change, it was clear that the voters had to roll up their pant legs inorder to wade through the muck on both sides.
    Time to let a non politician attempt to clean up the hornets nests in Washington.
    Interesting to see the return of 60's style protests, less controversial, more black and white!
    The truth about homelessness on the increase can't be overlooked, it would be great to see protests about assisting those living on the streets and trapped in the mental health quagmire.

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    1. Trump is mentally unfit for office. He will be removed by his own party.

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    2. Who is Arnold? Benedict Arnold?

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    3. Read the title of the article you are commenting on.

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    4. You poor fool, Trump is the ultimate politician. Exploiting you while he enriches himself, his family and his sycophantic devotees. He's achieved nithe of value to the American citizenry. In fact, he's only been in office barely 6 months and he gave himself a 17-day vacation.

      Lambs to the slaughter...

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. King of Comedy dead. RIP Jerry Lewis.

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