CHARLOTTESVILLE: IS IT A CONFLICT OF NATIONAL VALUES, OR CONFLICT OF WHITE SUPREMACY?




Mustafa AY – TDO – 17.08.2017 President Donald Trump in his today’s press conference said “Not all protesters in Charlottesville are White Supremacist. There are also many who tried to show their reaction for the assault on Robert Lee statue”. This statement can be regarded as that he backed up the protesters by justifying their cause in the demonstration. Trump tried to base its statement on ‘national value’ so that he could manage to manipulate opponents of the protesters, as “there is nothing to worry about. It is not as harsh as you thought of” sort of presidential statement appeared to relieve the tension. Even he told the press “today Robert Lee… What about next week or week after! The assailants who attacked Robert Lee/US value may attack George Washington next week or attack on Jefferson week after. They undertook the presidential duty by taking oath over the time’s constitution which covered slavery. But, this does not change the fact that they are our founding fathers of our nation”. With this statement, he meant to construe that US national history and the communal structure, which was on construction since 1960s, should not be demolished. Thus, he wanted to put an end on this abominable incident through applying ‘politique de faite accomplie’.    

So, who is Robert Lee and what cause did he fight for? Robert Lee is a Confederate General fighting against US forces during civil war (1861-65). That the era’s president Abraham Lincoln strived for abolishing slavery in the constitutional draft led General Lee and his alikes to take a firm step of ‘war cards’ so as to inhibit the abolishment of slavery. So, we ought to ask this question “Robert Lee and his followers can be accepted as portrayer of ‘US national values’ which were aimed at tearing USA apart by fueling discrimination?”. I think not because it is totally paradoxical situation. It is not reasonable to say that those, who led the deep-social fragmentation to emerge by fighting for white-supremacy during US civil war, cannot be deemed as ‘national values’. That’s why, Trump’s statements advocating protests sound like absurd, not the way around. If there are some appearing for defending Robert Lee, they are the supporters of white supremacy. Therefore, those in protest thoroughly comprised of sympathizers of Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis.