The Bitter Southerner has published a portfolio of photographs made by Virginia-based photographer Pat Jarrett (see all images in this blog entry) in Charlottesville over the weekend.
Jarrett also describes his experience covering this event in The Bitter Southerner, go here, in an article called As Loud as a Bomb.
Chuck Reese, an editor of The Bitter Southerner, says of Jarrett:
"To show us the South at its worst, Jarrett will take his camera and, quite literally, look hate straight in the eye.
"He has made it his business to understand the individual idiosyncrasies of dozens of hate groups.
"But on Saturday in Charlottesville, he saw them act in a way he’d never witnessed before: He saw them attack a group of protesters, killing a young paralegal, Heather Heyer, and injuring many others."
Reese gets things about right when he writes, "We cannot ignore the fact that these people — wherever they are from — chose our region, and its symbols of the Confederacy, as the place to take their stand.
"Therefore, it’s up to us to root them out. As for me, I find myself inextricably drawn to a simple idea: that the time for the benevolent but silent white Southerner is over."
Reese quotes John Pavlovitz, a minister at the North Raleigh Community Church, writing after the events in Charlottesville.
Pavlovitz says, "White people especially need to name racism in this hour, because somewhere in that crowd of sweaty, dead-eyed, raw throated white men are our brothers and cousins and husbands and fathers and children — those we go to church with and see at Little League and in our neighborhoods.
"They need to be made accountable by those they deem their “own kind.” They need to know that this is not who we are, that we don’t bless or support or respect this. They need white faces speaking directly into their white faces, loudly on behalf of love."
I'm with Pavlovitz, and with Reese, when he writes, "We know these people. We see them. They are in our communities.
"For far too long, we have shrugged and tried to ignore words from acquaintances that might suggest sympathy for the neo-Nazis, the Lost Cause apologists, the alt-right, or the so-called “American nationalists.”
"Our silence is no longer acceptable.
"White people in the South who know better must call out our neighbors and family members who apologize for or justify the actions of murderers, the actions of the deluded, the actions of the cowards, the actions of the dangerous.
"When we hear the code words, the dog whistles, or even completely overt expressions of racism, people like us no longer have a choice.
"We must respond. White faces have to look straight into the eyes of other white faces and say: I will not abide your hatred."
Reese says that the folks at The Bitter Southerner will be following the aftershocks of the events in Charlottesville, so its well worth our time to keep checking back to their website.
They say that they "can’t make up [their] minds whether . . . to talk about the cowardice of the racists who brought their hate to Charlottesville or the danger they pose to the future of our region and nation.
"They are cowards, but they are dangerous, and both facts are worthy of discussion."
And I certainly agree with the "entire BS crew" that "the job of standing up for what’s good about the American South just got harder."
Amen to that.