After watching video of a couple of hundred young, vapid bucket heads, too embarrassed to show their faces, march down the steps of the Lincoln Monument with Nazi regalia, plastic Viking shields, and upside down American flags, Rachel Maddow’s A-block tonight was true chicken soup for the soul.
Rachel began the block by recounting the 1968 assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis. She identified James Earl Ray as his killer, and recounted briefly his saga. And she identified the lawyer who represented him once he was captured and convicted. And then she spun her typical Rachel magic.
She reopened a story that I have been following for years through her reporting. Ray’s lawyer was a virulent segregationist. And after defending Ray, he came up with an idea for a fitting everlasting memorial.
He contacted an acquaintance who happened to own a private piece of land, on a hill overlooking the I-65 entry to Memphis, also a virulent segregationist. He commissioned a gold 25′ tall statue of confederate traitor and founding KKK Imperial Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest. The statue was flanked by 12 confederate flags on high poles.
The residents of Memphis promptly lost their collective shit. The statue was on private land, as were the flags, so there was nothing they could do about it. But they begged the state to do something, plant tall trees, put up fences, anything to obstruct the view. The property owner responded that he would just elevate the statue base and raise the flagpole heights.
And then the racist property owner upped and died. In his will, he left a $5 million bequest to (mainly his dog, who is very cute) maintain that property into perpetuity. One small problem. The asshole didn’t have $5 million. He didn’t have $0.50! The trailer park he owned was already in arrears. It had to be sold to cover his debts. And so did the property with the traitorous statue!
And so, today, the confederate flags were finally taken down, and the hateful statue was finally removed. Only it turns out that the statue wasn’t actually gilt bronze, or even metal, it was a composite resembling toothpaste. When they got out the slings, and tried to hoist the statue, it crumbled into pieces. A fitting memorial to a total asshole.
But there’s more! Hey, it’s Christmas, right! Remember the statue to the confederate traitor General Robert E Lee in Charlottesville? In 2017 the city council voted to remove it, which led to the Unite the Right rally that cost Heather Heier her life? It was finally removed earlier this year. And I cried like a baby when I watched a crowd of a couple of thousand people gathered at the site break into the song of Na-na-na, na, Na-na-na-na, Hey!-Hey!, Goodbye! as the goddamn thing was lowered onto a flatbed truck.
It was announced today that Governor Ralph Northam said that the destruction of the pedestal will be complete by the end of the year, and that the statue will be donated to an African American organization to be melted down and used for another statue.
Yeah, that’s right. You go right ahead, you bucket heads and bedsheet banditos, you keep covering your faces and marching while nobody is paying attention. The world is moving on, and you already have both front feet in the La Brea tar pits. Merry Christmas, assholes!
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