After the violence in Charlottesville, two trends have appeared: the left is going after the symbols of Confederacy, while the far-right’s non-Confederate white nationalists are bickering among themselves.
The finger-pointing, distancing and general fractiousness of “Alt-right” and “Alt-light” white nationalists is chronicled in this story by Leighton Woodhouse of the Intercept. It’s an interesting read, and perhaps most important to our work here, the article has essentially nothing to do with explicitly Confederate groups. Instead, these groups fashion themselves after Nazis, or simply are white-supremacists of their own making, such as the “Proud Boys.”
Meanwhile, however, opposition to the most explicit symbols of the Confederacy, the battle flag and statues of its leaders, seems to have grown. The debate over statues continues in Dallas, over cemeteries, statues in National Parks, in the U.S. Capitol, in Florida, in Memphis, and in Lumberton, North Carolina.
It seems safe to say that a year ago, the news coverage would have different when a Confederate battle flag was hung in a window near Oregon State University in Corvallis. Perhaps the flag would not have appeared at all, or had it, administrators may not have weighed in.
Has the ground shifted permanently regarding American’s views of the Confederacy, and would that change any change in who identifies with it? Questions we can’t answer now, but certainly on the mind.