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Trump’s Phoenix Talk . . . Brings A History Lesson To Radicals Who Think They Can Rewrite It

August 28, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


PHOENIX — There could have been more significance than the White House realized when Donald Trump spoke here as he made his first appearances in the West since his election as president.
Still under media opprobrium over baseless, opportunistic accusations that he’s a “white nationalist” or supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump spoke in one of the halls at the vast Phoenix Convention Center on August 22, about four miles north of South Mountain High School, an educational center with a large black enrollment whose mascot used to be The Rebels.
Neither Trump nor the traveling White House made any reference to or showed any awareness of the South Mountain Rebels.
Current leftist attempts to rewrite history to become everlasting racist oppression seem unable to understand that the Confederacy long ago had its fangs pulled by the Union Army of Republican President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Much work remained to be done, though, because of the segregationist system the Democratic Party subsequently erected that had to be dismantled.
However, the assertion that old statues of famous Confederates supposedly suddenly became intolerable in 2017 didn’t account for the fact that the very racially conscious President Barack Obama tolerated them throughout his eight-year term without serious objection.
South Mountain High School here provided one of many examples that the Confederacy long ago had lost its potency as an odious symbol of force dedicated to destroying the nation.
When South Mountain High opened in the mid-1950s, its mascot name was The Rebels, illustrated with a drawing of a young Confederate soldier wearing the characteristic Southern soldier cap, rifles crossed in the background.
The new high school, as the name indicates, was in the southern part of Phoenix, so choice of a possible mascot name may have seemed easy. Moreover, the school had a student body with many young blacks. People around here in the 1950s or 1960s never seemed to think teen-age black scholars were being conscripted to celebrate slavery, nor did students protest their mascot.
The Facebook page for the 35th reunion of the Rebels Class of 1980 proclaimed, “Once a Rebel, always a Rebel.”
In 1985 the mascot name changed to Jaguars, but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) doesn’t seem to have persuaded South Maintain High to move on further still, to choose the name of vegetation or rocks for a mascot instead.
Like soldiers in much of history, Confederate troops often ended up in their uniforms because the political entity where they lived took a certain direction, and they were its citizens — just as Soviet soldiers weren’t uniformly Communist revolutionaries, nor German National Socialist fighters all Aryan supremacists.
Moreover, small independent Southern farmers taking up arms had no economic interest in preserving a system of wealthy slave owners in plantations, who had a competitive advantage with their large work forces under bondage.
Older viewers might recall the U.S. television series The Rebel, about 57 years ago. It featured a man dealing with life in the aftermath of the Civil War, not trying to perpetuate slaveholding. Wikipedia describes the show thus:
“The series portrays the adventures of young Confederate Army veteran Johnny Yuma, an aspiring writer, played by Nick Adams. Haunted by his memories of the American Civil War, Yuma, in search of inner peace, roams the American West, specifically the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas plains. He keeps a journal of his adventures and fights injustice where he finds it with a revolver and his dead father’s sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun.”
Then there was NBC-TV’s sympathetic 1961 series The Americans, about two brothers fighting on opposite sides of the War Between the States, described by Wikipedia as “part of the United States’ commemoration of the centennial of the beginning of the Civil War.”
Such programs might be unthinkable to conceive today, because social radicals have rewritten history in order to suit their own distorted viewpoint.
However, Trump speaking in Phoenix on August 22 repeated the argument that history itself is under threat, not merely some old statues.
“The media has attacked me, but where I draw the line is when they attack you,” he said.
“. . . They are trying to take away our history and our heritage,” Trump said, adding later, “They’re trying to take away our culture, they’re trying to take away our history.”
This sounded quite similar to the warning by longtime liberal Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz on Fox News, that “the idea of willy-nilly going through and doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes does pose a danger. And it poses a danger of educational malpractice.”
The Daily Caller site posted on August 22 that Dershowitz warned on Fox and Friends: “Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues. Many of these people, not all of them, many of these people are trying to tear down America.”
Trump spoke before an Arizona audience that had waited patiently for hours in outside temperatures exceeding 100 degrees for admission to the hall. Much of his presentation was repetition of his pledges to stand up for America and its ordinary workers, not the elite, and to build the border wall.
After his talk, which lasted about an hour and a quarter, a senior editor for The Stream website, Rachel Alexander, who was present in the hall, told The Wanderer that the president made a good presentation.
“I think Trump refuted all the criticism that he got for his handling of Charlottesville,” Alexander said, referring to the August 12 Virginia battle between white racists and violent left-wing extremists that dominant media falsely tried to portray as an attack by the racists on peaceful foes of segregation.
Another topic where Trump directly confronted media deception while in Phoenix was elitists’ crusade to punish former Republican Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Catholic, for having arrested illegal aliens and turned them over to federal authorities.
Arpaio had been an early and strong supporter of Trump’s presidential candidacy.
As July ended, Arpaio was found guilty of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court in a bench trial by Federal Judge Susan Bolton for having the unauthorized aliens arrested despite a judge’s order to stop.
Strong harassment against Arpaio was part of a prolonged campaign by Arizona’s corrupt open-borders establishment to force the sheriff to stop implementing security.
Back on August 14, 2008, The Wanderer had a front-page story reporting liberal Democratic Phoenix then-Mayor Phil Gordon desperately pleading for reporters to pressure Arpaio to stop providing security protection for U.S. residents.
Headlined “Illegals’ Footsteps Kick Up Dust for Police, Prelates, Politicians,” the 2008 Wanderer story reported that Gordon “extended a remarkable invitation while in Washington, D.C., for national news media to come to Phoenix to ‘stop this madness’ of Arpaio’s deputies conducting crime-suppression sweeps that result in the arrest of illegal aliens.
“Gordon has fiercely opposed Arpaio’s efforts and called for the federal government to investigate the sheriff, even though U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said there’s nothing wrong with Arpaio’s crime-suppression efforts,” the story added.
However, Obama’s politicized Department of Justice later put Arpaio in its crosshairs.
Leading up to the topic on August 22, Trump told the Phoenix audience, “You’re safe in this room. . . . And that includes securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws.” The crowd gave a big cheer.
Trump proceeded to ask, “Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?”
There was a huge cheer and chants of “Pardon Joe.”
The president inquired, “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?”
The people replied, “Yes!”
Although Trump already had raised the possibility a pardon may be on the horizon, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier on August 22 that Trump wouldn’t issue one at this time.
“I don’t want to cause any controversy” with a pardon just now, Trump said, adding that Arpaio is “going to be just fine.” He didn’t rule out a future pardon.
The people of Arizona, he said, “know the heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration.”

Inflammatory Claims

At least a couple of thousand upset anti-Trump protesters were outside the convention center, the majority of them along East Monroe Street, which separates the north side of the center from St. Mary’s Basilica and the contiguous headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
The Phoenix-based Arizona Republic of August 23 wrote that a pardon “likely would have exacerbated an already precarious safety situation outside the convention center” the previous evening.
A separate Republic story used plainer language in quoting longtime Arpaio foe Lydia Guzman about a pardon: “It could have sparked a riot, and I’m glad he didn’t do it.” This story was accompanied by a photo of a large banner on the ground, surrounded by protesters, that was lettered: “No Pardon for Racist Arpaio.”
Liberal Republic columnist Laurie Roberts used the same false, inflammatory claim on August 23, saying Arpaio was “a guy who for years targeted people because of the color of their skin.”
Purposely avoiding naming them, Trump taunted Arizona’s two U.S. senators for their ineffectuality and opposition to him, John McCain and Jeff Flake. The crowd instantly knew who he meant, though, and booed them.
Despite the anti-Trump protesters on the sidewalks proclaiming their moral superiority and asserting their love trumps his hate, a few finally couldn’t contain themselves as Trump’s talk inside ended. They started hurling objects at some of the numerous police on hand.
Local conservative radio talk host Seth Leibsohn (KKNT, 960 AM) reported the next day that the objects were “gas canisters, rocks, and bottles.”
Fox News reported August 23: “Local Phoenix officers dressed in riot gear finally had to disperse pepper balls and tear gas at the crowds. Officers first directed pepper spray at individual protesters before they deployed a larger-scale gas.”
There was, however, no widespread violence, and as the program ended we safely exited the convention complex that covers several blocks downtown.
At least some media people including this writer were denied accreditation. So, in order to get inside for the talk, I had to walk the line on the sidewalks with the public for two hours and 10 minutes. The outside temperature was about 105 degrees and we wound around for about 10 blocks’ length. After we moved along for about an hour, the people behind us stretched back as far as we could see.
The Arizona Republic reported that even its Pulitzer-Prize winning editorial cartoonist, Steve Benson, was refused press credentials to attend.
Trump’s fans appeared to exceed the number of foes outside by far, with conservative Cong. Andy Biggs (R., Ariz.) estimating he saw “8,000 or more” people in the hall for the talk.

The Pinnacle

Sounding reconciliation, optimism, and determination, four national figures introduced Trump.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the U.S. “rose from nowhere to the pinnacle of the world faster than anyone in history,” and that “with the help of God, most of us have left . . . fear and hatred behind.”
Pro-life activist Alveda King prayed for repentance and noted among the nation’s failings that “we have slaughtered our weakest in the womb.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham said “we’re adrift morally . . . our sins have paralyzed us.”
Vice President Mike Pence saluted Trump as “a man of his word and a man of action.”

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