Indy Week | Comment Archives | Stories | Blogs | Soapboxer

Narrow Search

  • Show Only

  • Category

  • Narrow by Date

    • All
    • Today
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 30 Days
    • Select a Date Range

Comment Archives: Stories: Blogs: Soapboxer

Re: “Donald Trump Lit the Fuse That Led to Heather Heyer’s Murder

I'm still waiting for Trump to openly condemn the white supremacist and neo nazi groups. It disgusts me that he can't even admit that their ideology is the problem.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ammi on 08/14/2017 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Donald Trump Lit the Fuse That Led to Heather Heyer’s Murder

Donald Trump did not murder Heather Heyer, the thirty-two-year-old paralegal who was killed when a car allegedly driven by neo-Nazi James Fields Jr. plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters. But he shares some responsibility for her death.

After all, Trump lit the fuse.

Sure, there was already a powder keg. There were racial resentments that boiled to the surface during the Obama presidency, manifesting in the tea partyers and the birthers, both of whom Trump nurtured and mainstream Republicans tolerated so long as it suited their political ambitions.

But from the second Trump announced his candidacy, hes played footsie (or worse) with white supremacists and white nationalists. Hes elevated racists like Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller and neo-Nazi sympathizers like Stephen Bannon and Seb Gorka to positions of power. Hes refused to call out bigots who rallied to his banner, even after his election produced a surge of hate crimes. He built a campaign rooted in a fear of the otherMexicans, Muslims, refugees, African Americansand in a fear of changing cultural dynamics, premised on nostalgia for white hegemony.

The pathetic losers who marched in Charlottesville this weekend, bearing tiki torches and Nazi flags, were there in his name. And it was because of his ascent that they felt no need to hide themselves behind sheets, that they could announce themselves in full view of a multitude of cameras, that militiamen dared walk around in camo and with semi-automatic rifles. Trump allowed them to believe they have allies in the White House. He made it OK to step out of the shadows, to flaunt hatred for all the world to see.

(Fieldss mother told the Associated Press that she thought her son was traveling from Ohio to Virginia for an event that had something to do with Trump. She wasnt wrong. Neither was former Klan leader David Duke, who said the Charlottesville protest was an effort to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump: We are determined to take our country back, were going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump, and thats what we believed in, thats why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said hes going to take our country back and that's what we gotta do.)

And when violence forced Trump to say something on Saturday, all the vainglorious chump could muster was some horseshit about blaming many sides, as if Nazis and those who dont like Nazis have some sort of moral equivalence. Trump also insisted that we need to cherish our history, an unsubtle nod to the KKK types who descended on Charlottesville to defend a monument to the white supremacist and slave owner Robert E. Lee.

It took nearly twenty-four hours for the White House press shop to try to clean that upand then only after a Nazi website praised Trumps many sides rhetoric and he was roundly lambasted in the press for his cowardly dog-whistlingpublishing an unsigned statement on Wednesday saying that of course Trumps condemnation of violence includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all extremist groups.

Of course.

To condemn Nazis after deadly Nazi violence is the easiest political lay-up imaginable. Yet Trump refused, just as he demurs when theres cause to criticize Vladimir Putin. As the lead to a New York Times piece so succinctly puts it: President Trump is rarely reluctant to express his opinion, but he is often seized by caution when addressing the violence and vitriol of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and alt-right activists, some of whom are his supporters.

This would be inexplicable if the reason wasnt so patently obvious: Trump is terrified of aggravating his base, and his base is made up in no small part of white supremacists, would-be fascists, and other deplorables. (Side note: Can we all agree now that Hillary was dead-on in her assessment?)

Several prominent conservatives have been more forthright than Trump. A few even directly criticized his tepidity. Senator Cory Gardner, who is helming the Senate GOPs 2018 campaign, pleaded with Trump to call evil by its name. Senator Marco Rubiowho said during the presidential campaign, We cannot be a party that nominates somebody who refuses to condemn white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, then went on to unflinchingly support Trump anywaysaid it was very important for the nation to hear Trump denounce what happened in Charlottesville as a terror attack. Senator Ted Cruz demanded a federal investigation, saying, The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate.

Closer to home, Senator Thom Tillis tweeted, The hate, bigotry and violence on display in #Charlottesville is despicable and represents the complete opposite of what America stands for. He also retweeted Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican senator, who said, We must ALL condemn domestic terror & stand together against racism, hate and evils that if left unchecked will tear us apart. (Senator Richard Burr, meanwhile, hasnt yet issued a statement on his Facebook page, Twitter account, or Senate website.)

Their words are nice (though should you really expect a cookie for saying Nazis are bad?). Actions would be better.

So long as they enable Trump, so long as they tolerate his incompetence and malevolence in the hopes of securing tax cuts or another Supreme Court justice, they are complicit in the moral stain that he represents. And so long as the stain Trump representsthe stain he refuses to condemngoes unanswered, the more this rot will fester, the more this hatred will boil, and the more likely it is that others will share Heyers fate.

At minimum, every decent Republicanlooking at you, Tillis and Burrshould be demanding that Trump immediately fire Gorka, Miller, and Bannon. Bannon, of course, offered the goose steppers a safe space on Breitbart. Miller, who palled around with white supremacist Richard Spencer at Duke, has been behind the administrations attacks on refugees and immigrants. Gorka, a former Breitbart national security editor, has ties to a right-wing Hungarian group that was allied with the Nazis. In any normal administration, Republican or Democrat, histories half that repugnant would have prevented them from getting anywhere near the Oval Office. In Trumps, theyre top advisers.

That the president hired them, and that theyre still on the government payroll, is a testament to Trumps amorality. That Republicans havent forced the issue is a testament to their pusillanimity.

If America is to stop this descent into madness, these gutless wonders are going to have to rediscover their spines. Indeed, Trump isnt going to change, certainly not of his own volitions. Hes too small-minded and narcissistic for that. So its up to Congress, especially Republicans in Congress. Trump should be marginalized as an outlier, a horrible mistake waiting to be corrected, undeserving of our respect and morally unqualified to leadeven if thats to the detriment of their political fortunes.

Anything less is connivance.

For the rest of us, we need to recognize this president and his white nationalist supporters for what they are: an existential threat to what we imagine to be good about America. This is no time for passivity, no time to mince our words or shy away from calling the president what he is: a racistor, generously, a racist sympathizer. This is a time to be angry, to be in the streets, to be protesting the quarter the administration has offered the worst elements of our society, to be demanding that monuments to slaveholders and racists be thrown on historys scrap heap.

In North Carolina, we should turn our attention to the General Assembly, and to the lily-white Republican caucus that has a stranglehold on both chambers. In 2015after a white supremacist murdered nine people in a black church in South CarolinaRepublicans passed a law forbidding local governments from removing monuments to the Confederacy, under the guise of protecting history. Historical relics belong in museums, not as monuments on government property; a monument to the boys who wore the gray, as the inscription reads in Durham, is a tacit endorsement of the worthiness of their cause, which was, at its core, the right to own other human beings as chattel.

There are 140 publicly sanctioned symbols of the Confederacy in North Carolina, including five monuments in the Triangle: three on state property in Raleigh, one on county property in Durham, and Silent Sam at UNC. They need to come down. Local governments must loudly and unequivocally demand that the legislature allow them to do so, and make Republican lawmakers justify their continued existence on public property. Thats not an argument Republicans want to have, nor is it one they can win.

More important, the legislature has gone out of its way to minimize the power of the black vote to protect its power, first by drawing congressional and legislative districts that were ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, then by passing strict voting restrictions that a federal appeals court said targeted African Americans with almost surgical precision. (That law was struck down.) These are reprehensible affronts to civil rights and democracy itself; they should not be forgiven. Nor should the fact that, last year, in response to protests over a police shooting in Charlotte, the state House passed a despicable bill that gives civil immunity to drivers who run over protesters. (The Senate hasnt yet taken it up.)

In her last Facebook post, Heather Heyer quoted the familiar maxim, If youre not outraged, youre not paying attention. Let her memory forever remind us to stay vigilant, to be outraged, to never accept this virulent hatred and demagoguery as normal, to never lose sight of what were up against, to never stop fighting.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Neil Richardson on 08/14/2017 at 6:25 AM

Re: “The Mayor of New Orleans Explains Why North Carolina’s Monuments to White Supremacy Need to Come Down

Yeah, it wasn't about slavery. It was about States Rights. . It's just a coincidence that the right to own humans was one that all the rebelling states wanted to keep. Wake up sheeple! (It's amazing and disgusting the brainwashing that goes on in the south about the civil war. I was explicitly taught all the myth;, good slave owners, slaves better off before liberation, R. E. Lee an honorable person, etc. All bullshit still being fed to people today.)

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by vidvis on 06/11/2017 at 6:58 AM

Re: “The Mayor of New Orleans Explains Why North Carolina’s Monuments to White Supremacy Need to Come Down

I've dug and dug and can't figure it out. What's the real reason?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Klein on 06/10/2017 at 9:39 PM

Re: “The Mayor of New Orleans Explains Why North Carolina’s Monuments to White Supremacy Need to Come Down

If you still believe the Civil War was over slavery then you're a fool and maybe you should dig a little deeper into our history to see what the real reason actually happened and only then we will move forward in our peace in this country but if we continue to believe the lies we're told through government funded history we will only stagnate .. Not good

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Ruckus Dean on 06/10/2017 at 6:11 PM

Re: “The Mayor of New Orleans Explains Why North Carolina’s Monuments to White Supremacy Need to Come Down

This is the first time I have listened to the mayor's speech in it's entirety and I agree with him. I say this as a direct descendant of North Carolina slave owners; great grandfathers and great uncles that participated in the Confederacy both as citizens, military officers and regular soldiers. The time has come for North Carolina to move on from its shameful past by removing the statues across our state.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by David L Munden on 05/24/2017 at 9:29 PM

Re: “The Mayor of New Orleans Explains Why North Carolina’s Monuments to White Supremacy Need to Come Down

In front of the Pitt County, Greenville, NC courthouse is a monument that honored/celebrated the county's dead soldiers by segregating their names with the word ""colored."". That word was removed along with a Confederate flag that flew over the town commons in the early 80s. Some call these actions a sanitizing of history. We should never forget our government's relationship with violence, hypocrisy and ignorance towards its own citizens.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Glenn Maughan on 05/23/2017 at 5:11 PM

Re: “Is Richard Burr Tanking the Trump-Russia Investigation?

Please sign my petition to have an independent commission investigate Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election!

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Elizabeth Miller on 04/25/2017 at 1:48 PM

Re: “Why did Craig Hicks kill three Muslim students? Because he lost his humanity.

ProudlyUnaffiliated.....Well You sure wrote a fkn mouthful about shit unrelated to this story and added your political twist and felt the desire to mention my name...First no one gives a twiddle fuck what you think or you political fantasies....Unlike your name..I think you are proudly affiliated...(with GOP assbags)..So here ya go close your eyes...Im going to say,,it,,,GFY you might just like it and by all means try to have a nice day.

Posted by Tony D on 11/11/2015 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel

Chris, I used a zoom lens!

Posted by Lisa Sorg on 08/12/2015 at 7:40 AM

Re: “Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel

Q: "8 feet off the ground, is an odd spot for a light switch.
      How did one reach the switch?"
A: Same way you took the picture: standing on something,
     or being tall, or using a switch-flipper (patent pending).

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Tiffany on 08/11/2015 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel

Very neat, as a 38 year old skateboarder, one of the things I've always talked about, since I was a teen, to often disinterested ears, is the way skateboarding has you looking at the objects and buildings and stairs and sidewalks around you very differently, often causing you to notice completely odd, or lost or misplaced things. There are phenomenon of switches and handles to nothing, stairs to nowhere, doors into oblivion etc, which gets your mind going off the cliches of everyday experience. Very cool find indeed.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Noah Goyette on 08/11/2015 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Love Durham? Then you need to come to
Mindy Fullilove's talk about cities

At her lecture yesterday, Dr. Fullilove mentioned that the redlining mortgage maps were unavailable except by visit to the National Archives in College Park, MD.

Later, Katie Spencer of the Museum of Durham History said they would soon have an exhibit about the map. Spirit House is also working with local cartographer Tim Stahlmann to create a large-format version of the map. Great news on both fronts.

There are plenty of places online to view and examine the Durham redlining map, however. WUNC posted a scan of the original printed map here:…

UNC's Richard Marciano has an interactive version of the map (and of Asheville's) here:

From this web map you can click on each color-coded area and discover non-sugar-coated racism in a Federal document: the South Mangum (nee McMannen) Street area near the current Bulls ballpark is described as "formerly a good white residential street, but negroes are gradually taking up the area."

Marciano's team had an earlier website that doesn't appear to be fully functional at the moment, but does offer additional background and insight:…

Finally, map nerds who don't already know about Digital Durham, a site put together by Duke's Trudi Abel, need to visit it now. Lots of original material there, including an oft-referenced 1937 Durham Public Works map that shows the racial composition of town, street-by-street, and that works in tandem with this redlining map. It is also, perhaps unwittingly, an early map of environmental (in)justice:…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew Edmonds on 07/20/2015 at 9:28 AM

Re: “At Durham Farmers Market, a beautiful tone

Wow! I know John as a guitar student of Jon Shain's and have seen him play at student recitals the Shains hold every couple of months. I had no idea that he was such an accomplished accordion player. Thanks, Lisa.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Kroll on 06/28/2015 at 9:59 AM

Re: “39 parking spaces = 31 affordable homes

Glad you asked, Erik… For Blacknall church specifically, the long-term problem is the threat of losing Sunday access to off-street parking – a need currently met by Duke’s 705 Broad St. parking lot. (In 2008, this threat was all but realized with the planned re-development of 705 Broad as a new Whole Foods Superstore site.) If the Duke lot privilege goes away, Blacknall congregants are left a weekly "hunting expedition" for scarce on-street, or remote off-street, parking.

Would the church seek creative solutions? Certainly. Remember, Blacknall has flourished for nearly 100 years without owning a single parking space! But a quick glance at the neighborhood's rapidly expanding skyline gives pause... Where is the tipping point?

Permanent solution, Erik? Structured parking. A parking garage situated between Ninth St. and Iredell St. would serve the needs of multiple stakeholders and fuel imagination for future re-development. Blacknall would gladly join a coalition of joint venture partners to bring this to fruition. Heck, sounds like a lot of fun!

In the mean time, a few $41,000 parking spaces will have to do...

Tp (Member of Blacknall's Land Acquisition Committee)

Posted by Tpenn on 06/26/2015 at 8:23 PM

Re: “On a street corner, Mount Zion schoolkids preach fire and brimstone

Every time I come across this I'm struck by what a great photo this is. Just wanted to say so.

Posted by VirgilCane on 06/25/2015 at 11:07 AM

Re: “39 parking spaces = 31 affordable homes

Ok. What's the permanent solution to the long-term problem, Tp?

Posted by Erik Landfried on 06/25/2015 at 9:05 AM

Re: “39 parking spaces = 31 affordable homes

We'll clarify that the 39 parking spaces are a temporary solution to an immediate problem – loss of weekday parking. Blacknall Church believes that surface parking is clearly NOT the highest use for this property. Tp

Posted by Tpenn on 06/24/2015 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Orange Street in Durham: A zone of fun and purloined plants

Actually, just FYI, the Fun Zone has been out of business for over a year. Granted, those chairs WERE from the Fun Zone, but the stolen plants were next to the door of what is now the Crafting and Quilting Room of Sew Crafty, a sewing studio located on the second floor of said building where kids come to learn how to sew on a sewing machine.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Toni Mason on 06/18/2015 at 5:33 PM

Re: “Durham Police: protests, body cameras and troubling crime reports

In this intellectually bereft time, I expect the mob to be screaming racism and demanding that we close the gun death achievement gap.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by ProudlyUnaffiliated on 05/05/2015 at 6:03 PM

Our Guides

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation