From Holman Jenkins at the WSJ, The Extremist Show Is Just Starting
The city is a Democratic town, run by a Democratic machine. Its elections are typically settled in a Democratic primary. The GOP is a non-factor. Of the three City Council members who voted in February to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from a town park, two who thereafter faced re-election are now gone.
One chose not to run. The other lost in a landslide. The lone remaining anti-statue vote, who did not face re-election, was Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who recently had to leave his high-school teaching job over a history of bigoted, antiwhite tweets. He is assumed to have no political future either. Notably, Mayor Mike Signer, who declared Charlottesville a “capital of resistance” shortly after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, voted to keep Lee’s statue.
All this might suggest the anti-statue cause was not a popular one with the town’s liberal majority. The same impression is strongly supported by letters to the local paper, the Daily Progress.
There’s nothing like extremism to attract extremists. That’s the alchemy Charlottesville perfected. On July 8, the KKK held a legally authorized one-hour rally for a few dozen supporters. Beforehand, police visited prominent activists, seeking to head off violence. Ms. Starsia rejected their advice to stay away. “There is a long history of police looking to preserve white supremacy and the current systems of power,” she said, neglecting to notice that the local police chief is black.
If I thought that removing all the Confederate Statues would bring racial healing I would be all in. But this movement is about political opportunism and virtue signalling. Removing statues will not reduce the black youth unemployment, black incarceration rate, unwed mother birthrate, income inequality, or school dropout rate at all.
The modern perversion of Progressivism requires a demon, and when these demons are removed they will summon others.