Some Thoughts on Charlottesville as the Eclipse Approaches

downloadI don’t have anything particularly profound to say about the tragic events in Charlottesville this weekend except to say that my greatest fear after Trump was elected was that there would be blood in the streets. And so it has proved. Heather Heyer, 32, a Caucasian woman who was there to support the counter-protesters, was killed by a car driven into the crowd by a young white male neo-Nazi from Ohio. But it could have been anyone of any race who died. The point is, they wanted to cause havoc and fear, and they did.

My greatest hope? That decent people will fight back. And they are. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave a news conference on Sunday to declare that the violent Nazi protesters were not welcome in his state. GoDaddy dropped The Daily Stormer–it was news to me that this organ existed–from being hosted on their servers. The president was forced, belatedly, to give an insincere speech condemning racism.

(Perhaps he will also be forced to drop Steve Bannon now. Anthony Scaramucci appears to think so…)

“Blame lies at the top,” I wrote on my Facebook page after Heyer’s death. It is strange to speak out. Pointless, perhaps, and there is always a fear of repercussions. One would think that there was only one “right side,” and Joe Biden tweeted this over the weekend, but in this political climate, it appears that evil has the upper hand. For now.

At any rate, one of the things I enjoy is reading Austin Kleon‘s newsletter. He’s the author of Steal Like an Artist, and an eclectic guy who lives in Austin, TX. This well-written piece by Ross Andersen in The Atlantic inspired by the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21 appealed to me, and I thought I would share it. I am not particularly interested in the eclipse, actually… but I enjoyed reading about the historical implications of such fear-inspiring natural events. Did you know that eclipses often preceded the death of powerful kings? Alexander the Great went so far as to execute a “substitute king” after one such eclipse!

Nowadays we feel more awe than fear at the sun being briefly blotted out, but nature has a way of pointing out our basic insignificance.

I hope that these traumatic times allow the country to come out morally stronger. We are seeing good and bad duking it out in such primary colors right now. There will be more chaos to come, and more people emerging who view, as Littlefinger does in Game of Thrones, chaos as a ladder.

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About Gabriella West

Indie writer/editor and author of historical novel TIME OF GRACE and contemporary LGBT romance ELSIE STREET.
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