“Charlottesville” is a long-time and much-respected commenter here at Ivy Style. He is a true Southern Gentleman, a lawyer who married his high school sweetheart, and a devout Episcopalian. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing drinks with him on one of his regular visits to New York, as well as many correpondences. He left the following comment in the “Southern Exposure” discussion thread, and has given his permission to post it here as our country mourns the tragic events of last week. — CC
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I have indeed been away from the site for a while, and only discovered some comments on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. I am grateful for the very kind words from commenters Henry, Vern, Will, Whiskeydent and especially Christian.
As has been mentioned in the “Southern Exposure” comment thread, most of the violent thugs that descended on my town on Saturday appear to have come from other states, and, at least according to local reports based on interviews and license plates, many/most seemed to come from Colorado, California, Florida, and, in the case of the man who murdered poor Heather Heyer, Ohio. Unfortunately, at least one of the racist ringleaders has long been a thorn in the flesh to the good people of Charlottesville, and I am sure other local losers were involved as well. Nevertheless, I think our town has little to be ashamed of in its response. My Rector and the Bishop of Virginia, along with many other clergy, maintained a quiet witness of protest (my church stands directly beside the park where the Lee statue is located). And on Sunday morning, while the streets were still blocked and armed police patrolled the area, hundreds of us came together to pray and seek healing and forgiveness in place of the anger and hatred of the day before.
On Wednesday, Heather’s mother asked the attendees at her daughter’s memorial service to respond to hate with love. And that night hundreds of UVA faculty and students gathered on the Lawn, in an event publicized solely by word of mouth and social media, and sang “Amazing Grace” by candlelight on the spot where armed men with torches had spewed hatred and thrown punches a few nights before.
As for the South in general, I think Charleston, New Orleans, and many other Southern cities, including Charlottesville, are delightful places to visit or live, whatever problems we may have. I can say that I saw virulent racism in my Massachusetts middle school, and in the Indiana college town where my father worked for a time when I was a teenager. So this historic evil is not the exclusive property of the South. Finally, if you will indulge me, I note that while Yale, Harvard, Stanford and other non-southern schools generally top the rankings, there is a university here in Charlottesville that usually shows fairly well.
I hope we can soon return to lighter topics, such as seersucker suits, bow ties, OCBDs, penny loafers and the like, all of which I am wearing at the moment. In the meantime, thanks to all for letting me have my say. — CHARLOTTESVILLE