Saturday, March 11, 2017

Concord Hymn and the Danger of the Alt-Right

(Lincoln City Beach, Oregon)

 "By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

Thumbing around the used bookstores of Lincoln City today, I noticed this guy in the stacks eye-balling me.  He was fair skinned, scraggily hair, cloaked in wet maroon denim and Marlboros, sidling up to me and so I talked to the guy.  He said he was in the Alt-Right... and asked me if I would be attending their meeting that night.
(Lincoln City, Oregon)

 "The foe long since in silence slept
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps
And time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

I had no idea what the Alt-Right was.... and so he explained using words like "White Right" which was different from "White Nationalist" and "White Supremacist"... but ultimately it was a loose term to describe people that didn't want to be bullied by the "Left" liberal media anymore.
(Lincoln City, Oregon Coast)

 "On this green bank, by this soft stream
We set today a votive stone
That memory may their deed redeem
When, like our sires, our sons are gone."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

I stood there like a big schmuck!  Totally dumbfounded.  I had just spent that morning reading Emerson's Concord Hymn with my daughters about the Colonial militia standing their ground at the North Bridge against an overwhelming Redcoat force... and now... was I actually talking to a ... Nazi?  Are you kidding me!  He stared at me and I stared at him and our eyeballs made canon fodder of one another.
(Lincoln City, Oregon Coast)

"Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free
Bid Time an Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

It was at this moment that my daughters came around the corner and the look of horror spread across this dude's face.  My little Asian-American daughters.  We'd spent all of last year studying the Story of the World together which culminated in the terrors of the Third Reich  and the nightmare of the Holocaust.  Yet here they were, so joyous, so full of boundless love for the world.  Pulling me out of the store, down the sidewalk, down the lane toward the sand, toward the sound of rushing surf.  "What was that dirty guy talking to you about?"  They asked.  "Nothing," I answered.  "Nothing."  But I knew I his evil was rising... and eventually would have to be faced again.

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