MANSFIELD: False Equivalencies

Photo: Ted Eytan/Creative Commons

When the man occupying the White House attempts to equate Nazis with those who oppose them he is treading on dangerously thin ice. For him to rhetorically ask if there would soon be demands that the statues of Washington and Jefferson be taken down next ignores one glaring fact of history: The Founding Fathers, for all of their shortcomings in regards to being slaveholders, were never traitors.

Robert E. Lee, Jeff Davis and Stonewall Jackson — and millions of others — took up arms against the United States of America, and no amount of revisionist history can change that fact. The claim that the Civil War was a war of “northern aggression” is a damnable lie since the Confederacy fired the first shots at Fort Sumter.

But there are those who attempt to obfuscate, dissemble and downright lie — anything to evade the truth that the virulent hatreds that were present in this country at the beginning of the Civil War are still present in a dwindling number of reactionaries.

What we are currently witnessing is the dying gasp of the few remaining true bigots left in America. They are a dying breed and they know it. But the real fear is, they now have someone in the White House that feels the same way they do: If they can’t continue to rule the country by fear, intimidation and outright lies, they would just as soon burn this mother down.

That’s why they were chanting “Jews will not replace us.” The racists want to continue to rule under the false rubric of “race” — which is an artificial construct that was invented to confer power to one group over all others.

The coming battle — you didn’t think that Charlottesville was the end, did you? — will at times again turn bloody simply because the bigots now suppose they have license to force their ugly ideology on the nation. But even some of the meanest, pinched-faced coal miners in the hollers of West Virginia are drawing back in revulsion.

The mistake the organizers of the march made was to allow some of the more radical white nationalists to carry flags with swastikas on them. That crossed the line that even rock-ribbed Republicans don’t care to be on the wrong side of.

Two former presidents — both named Bush — came out against the alt-right by saying:

“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”

The essential question is this: Is there any other country on the face of the earth that allows statuary of traitors to be erected and allowed to remain in place for over a hundred years?

I have more to say but I’m having difficulty writing since my eyes are tearing up as I watch the candlelight vigil for peace that is taking place in Charlottesville. God bless Heather Heyer for putting her body on the line, and May God Save America.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at

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