Of the many paragraphs that have already been written about this weekend, today I have been thinking about this one by Jia Tolentino:
The white supremacists marching in Charlottesville were close to celebrating a hundred-year anniversary. The town’s Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1921: they put on hoods and burned crosses at midnight at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s sprawling plantation and the site of his grave. “Hundreds of Charlottesville’s leading business and professional men” were in attendance, the Daily Progress, which is still the city’s primary newspaper, wrote at the time. “It is said that the reorganization of the Klan is proceeding rapidly throughout the State, the South, and the Nation.” The K.K.K. made a thousand-dollar donation to the University of Virginia; the school’s president at the time, E. A. Alderman, signed his thank-you note “Faithfully yours.” The belief that America is somehow better than its white-supremacist history is sometimes an excuse masquerading as encouragement, and it’s part of the reason why the K.K.K. is back in business. What happened in Charlottesville is less an aberrant travesty in a progressive enclave than it is a reminder of how much evil can be obscured by the appearance of good.
And here are the tweets: