I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a little city built on history. George Washington grew up here. His sister and her husband built a home here. George bought his mother a home here where she lived until her death. But Fredericksburg may be more famous for the two battles staged here during the Civil War (unless you’re an antique shopper. Then it’s probably better known to you for antiques).
This town is old and it takes the Civil War seriously, or at least the tourism part of it does. There are buildings with marks from bullets in them from the two battles. There are buildings with cannonballs stuck in the outside walls. Battle reenactments are staged here. My former editor of The Free Lance-Star had one joke and he told it at every function where he was required to speak. It went something like, “Whenever you bring up the Civil War in this town, the first response you get is, ‘what have you heard?'”
The joke is based on the Civil War still being a news story which is based on the kinda/sorta joke that some people are still fighting the Civil War. But that goes for a lot of places in the south. A lot of people can’t get over it. Some people even believe it’s not over and the “south will rise again.”
Meanwhile, Fredericksburg is a tourist town and you can’t go seven steps here without seeing a historical marker, but the people who live here are pretty much over it. I have been here for over 20 years (really? 20 years? Dammit!), and the one subject nobody ever brings up to me is the Civil War, other than an occasional debate over what it was fought over (slavery. For the south, it was just slavery. Deal with it), I don’t ever hear anyone talk about the Civil War. But maybe that’s just the circles I run in (when I’m not staying home because all I do now is stay home). While the city is surrounded by two very red pro-Trump fucknut counties (kiss my ass, Spotsylvania. Screw you, Stafford), Fredericksburg is a liberal city. It votes blue. Hillary Clinton destroyed Trump here on election day. You don’t see a lot of Confederate flags being waved here.
After you have lived here for a while, you don’t even see the Civil War stuff except for the tourists. They’re always right in front of you and they walk and drive slow. And they make a lot of noise when their cars are towed after parking by a sign that says, “Do not park here” and they complain, “I didn’t know that’s how it was here because I’m from Fairfax” where apparently the signs are not in English.
Even in Richmond, which was the capital of the Confederacy, the Confederate statues are coming down. HBO Max is pulling “Gone With the Wind.” The House of Representatives is putting together legislation to rename Army installations that bear Confederate names and removing their Confederate symbols. Even the Republican Senate is putting together a commission to study it (you don’t need a commission to study it. I’ll tell you right now, Confederate names are racist. Take ’em down). The Pentagon wants to remove Confederate names from military bases. Even NASCAR is banning the Confederate flag. Hell, NASCAR, which has about 38 Bubbas driving for it, has a black driver now. His name is Bubba. Small steps.
Nearly everyone seems to be moving forward except the president (sic) of the United States. Donald Trump said he won’t even consider renaming military bases named after loser Confederate generals who were fighting to preserve slavery.
In 2017, when he defended tiki-torch Nazis marching through Charlottesville chanting “Blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us,” Donald Trump defended Confederate statues saying, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”
He also tweeted, “Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
So, just what is so “beautiful,” a word he used twice, with monuments for the military champions of slavery? And the other thing is, what does he mean by “our” monuments? Donald Trump isn’t from Virginia. He’s not from Alabama, or Georgia, Mississippi, any of the nine other states who seceded from the Union. That jackass is from New York City. He was born in Queens. While conservatives accuse Democrats of pandering for the black vote, who the hell is Trump pandering to?
Donald Trump’s very first post-pandemic hate rally will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of one of the worst race riots in our nation’s history which turned into a massacre for th black community. He’s also holding it on Juneteenth, the anniversary for when black Americans first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation. This is not a racist wolf whistle. As Senator Kamala Harris said, it’s a “welcome home party” for white supremacists.
Donald Trump believes he’ll be reelected on a racist agenda. Hell, it worked in 2016…barely. The racist-in-chief who was the champion of birtherism, said “send them back,” and talked about “shithole” countries, and who still refuses to apologize for putting full-page ads in The New York Times calling for the death of the innocent Central Park Five is trying to convince us he’s about equality and will stand up against racism when he sees it…except he never sees it. If he did, he’d spot it every time he looked in the mirror…which he does a lot.
Donald Trump does not want to move on and that’s fine because we don’t believe him when he pretends to. The rest of the nation is moving on, even NASCAR, but Trump wants to remain the same old bigot from Queens, like Archie Bunker. Hopefully, the nation continues to move on without him in November.
Donald Trump defends Confederate statues, monuments to hatred. I’m certain he envisions statues dedicated to him someday. He’s already talked about being on Mount Rushmore. And after some dickwater town in the deep south erects a monument to Donald Trump’s hatred, I’m sure there will be more than birds waiting to shit on it.
By the way, Donald Trump already has a statue. Do yourself a favor and don’t click HERE.
But, all and any help is greatly appreciated and it helps keep me going. Think of me like a street performing busking out tunes on a corner (I won’t play “Wonderwall.” I promise). If you like the tune, or in this case, toon, throw a buck into the tip jar. It’ll help me play another song, draw another toon, write another blog, make another video, and post another snarky post on social media. It’ll help keep me alive. You can also order a signed print for $40. And if you don’t like the PayPal option, you can snail mail it to my P.O. Box.
Watch me draw.