Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mint Julep Trilogy offers answer for progressing toward respect for the contributions of all our nation's founders

Chapter Nine in Book 2 (Mint Juleps and Murder) of the Mint Julep Trilogy contains my answer for progressing towards respecting the contributions of all our nation's founders -- Black and White

Chapter Nine
We came home having made great progress in our investigation to find a big surprise waiting for us. Several gentlemen from the coffee room at the courthouse had showed up on our veranda for our very first Five O’clock Somewhere Mint Julep time. Five O’clock Somewhere was a tradition Kevin and I had enjoyed at our “Happy Place” in Cove City. Only Kevin didn’t drink Mint Juleps. He drank the very hard to find Bartles and James Berry Wine coolers. And only one of those at that. I still have some in the refrigerator at home left over from before the SpedEx truck got him. I guess I’m still waiting for him to walk in the door one day. 
Come to think of it we never had Mint Juleps. It just seemed appropriate to serve them now since they’d had such a beneficial effect on the success of our pilot for Partyin' on the Plantation on the Dishing It Network.
The gentlemen already held a Mint Julep in their hand with fresh mint from our garden no less. We climbed the stairs rather curious as to who had been playing host when out walked our cousin, Faye Lynne. 
Well. Hell!
“I thought you were ‘chaperoning’ Estrellita, Faye Lynne,” I said while Faye Lynne air-hugged Sister. Her makeup was on too good for a close hug and her hair looked like she’d just had it done before coming to the Big House. I thought it looked like it might actually be hair that had grown back while she’d been gone, but I thought it might be real tacky to ask right now. 
From the look on her face when she’d walked through that door -- before she saw us that is -- she thought she had died and gone to heaven with all those handsome, silver haired, accomplished Southern gentlemen hanging around our back veranda. Kind of like the Saks Fifth Avenue of gentlemen whom I assume, since they were sitting on our veranda for our Five O’clock Somewhere event without their ladies, were single for some reason -- death or divorce -- and had come to see Sister and me.
Faye Lynne leaned toward me and threw me an air kiss that I dodged adroitly to take the chair she had vacated beside Harvey.
“You got any more of those Mint Juleps made?” I asked. 
“Sure do,” Faye Lynne said. “They’re Sophie’s recipe that she got from that her doctor friend and used to serve at Malabouchi.”
That intriguing opening for conversation kept Faye Lynne and Sister busy. So I decided if I was going to get a Mint Julep I’d have to get up and go get it myself. I knew soon as I did Faye Lynne was going to put her Bitty Butt into that chair and I’d never get it back, but there seemed to be no way around it because she had her drink and had brought an extra out which she gave to Sister. Of course, all the gentlemen, being well raised, were still standing. Faye Lynne never thought to tell them to sit or to sit herself so they could sit though they kept offering her their chair. 
She had herself arranged against the railing in her well-practiced most provocative manner that actually came across looking casual. But I knew the truth. 
So I got my Mint Julep and put it on a tray with a pitcher. Then I went to the back door and said, “There’s more chairs on the front veranda. So I’m headed that way.”
“Harvey?” I said and prissed my ample behind down the mahogany hall and through the double doors out onto the front veranda. Harvey followed and so did the others. 
Faye Lynne really did not know what to make of my sudden popularity. I guess it just goes to show that some of us peak young and others of us have to wait for our time to come. Sometimes it takes a real long time. I did not know what to make of this phenomenon myself!
Just as we got settled, Mick Jefferson, the videographer, came around the corner of the house with the artist he had introduced me to once before. Billie Cox had become intrigued with the faces of Cox County and was working with Mick and Natalie Roy, a sociologist Mick got involved, delving into the intricate community of the plantations of Cox County. 
Life on a plantation was much like the feudal system of the Middle Ages. Each member of the community had a job --   cook, laundress, field hand, housekeeper, brick maker, bricklayer, overseer, blacksmith, hostler, herdsman, weaver, seamstress -- and so many more. Each job was critical to the functioning of the plantation. I’ve always thought the identifier slave diminished their true value and legacy to their children and surely needed clarification. I also wondered if taking the name of owner of the plantation had prolonged that lack of a real identity. 
When I do my genealogy and track our family back to an average person living in a village in the Middle Ages, my relative could very well be serf (almost a slave), but I never see that word, just the job the person did which is pretty much how most folks got their last names originally -- Baker, Smith, Cook.
The gentlemen stood to be introduced as Billie and Mick climbed the front steps. I introduced them to Harvey Banks, retired circuit judge; Clayton Connor, retired banker; Cameron Bonner, who once owned the Ford dealership; and Osborne Frith, a former Wall Street Banker, who had bought a huge plantation house in Evalina to retire to. 
“Sit down and join us,” I said to Billie and Mick.
After the hand shaking was attended to, Billie and Mick pulled over a couple of rockers.
Sister brought out two more silver Mint Julep cups and added a celery stick along with the mint in one for Billie because he’s an artist and a vegetarian. 
“We drove up back of the house, but nobody came to the door when we knocked. We heard voices around here and decided to come around. I hope that’s all right,” Billie said in his soft cultured voice. He looked like the artist he was with his interesting dreadlocks. Billie had the kindest eyes. I think that’s why his subjects relate so well to him. 
Mick chuckled and said, “I really had hoped to see Dr. Ransom's dogs, Dido and Eudo, tonight.”
“Eudo is exhausted and already went to bed. Dido is never far away,” Sister said.
“We just wanted to tell you that your idea of inviting women to come forward with family quilts and tell their story is going over very well. There are all kinds of memories wrapped up in those quilts. Each square generates a recollection,” Mick said.
“I use the quilt as a backdrop for the photographs I take of the women for my new series of pictures,” Billie said. “Do you have a suggestion for the title?”
“How about Family Heirlooms/Mosaics of Memories?” I said.
I suggested to Natalie Roy, my sociologist friend, that she might want to start over at Gee’s Bend just nineteen miles away, in a curve of the Alabama River just north of Callerville, and sit and quilt awhile with those ladies to find out more of the history of the area. Most of them had ancestors that grew up on the Pettway Plantation.
“How did you get the idea for the quilt?” Mick asked.
“Mary, who helped me raise my children, gave me one of her mother’s quilts. I was looking at it one day and remembered Mary telling me that the squares were taken from the clothes they wore as children. So, for Mary, each square would have reminded her of one of her brothers or sisters as well as reminding her of her mother sewing the quilt together.” 
“Quilts could be a bit like memory beads of the ancient people,” Billie added.
“That was what I was thought,” I said. 
Mick hesitated and then said, “Natalie said a strange quilt came in the other day. She wanted me to tell you about it. Someone identified the quilt as one that your grandmother made and had been seen at your Aunt Alberta’s house on her bed.”
“Charlene sold it?” Sister asked.
“No, it was found dumped in the woods covered with blood wrapped around a gun.”
“Why wasn’t it taken to the authorities,” Harvey asked.
Billie said, “I gather it was found at a place where it would not have been safe for someone to admit they had been. Whoever found the quilt thought they could wash it and use it, but when they unwrapped it a gun fell out. Now what Black person is going to admit being in possession of a gun wrapped in a bloody quilt?”
The silence was eloquent. Things had changed in Alabama, but it was hard to erase the memories. Like those stitched into the quilts.
Mick said, “Florence recognized the quilt as having been the one on your aunt’s bed sometime around when your cousin Palmer was supposed to have committed suicide. She said you had been asking questions about his supposed suicide.”
 “Did anyone know what property the quilt was found on?”
“Somebody named Barton?” Mick said.
Sister and I looked at each other. That was the name of the folks that bought Aunt Alberta’s house and property so suddenly. They then turned around and sold tall but the house for a fine profit to the timber company.
“Harvey, do you know anything about the investigation into Palmer’s death,” Sister asked. 
“A little. I went through whatever records we had on file. It was a pretty cut and dried case. Pretty little widow distraught because she’d just seen her husband put his gun to his head and blow his brains out in front of her and her children while they sat on the sofa watching TV. They were all crying and wringing their hands. The sheriff was all over the news across the nation about then because he was found tied naked to a tree. So he was busy answering telephones every which way.”
“So I gather you don’t think there was much of an investigation?” I asked. 
“They found a gun in Palmer’s hand that had been shot recently. I don’t know if they actually looked for the bullet that shot him,” Harvey said trying to remember.
“Anyway, I went over to Selma today and spent a little time in the coffee room. I asked around whether anybody had any dealings with Palmer Watson. A young Montgomery lawyer happened in and told me he’d been called over to witness a new will and file it. When he found out Palmer had committed suicide, he turned around and went home. Can’t collect a fee from a dead man,” Harvey continued.
“Those names make the whole thing even more suspicious. The Bartons have had a grudge against the Palmers for a couple of generations. Kind of like the Cox County version of the Hatfields and McCoys. Your granddaddy got involved somehow. Let’s see now, how did that story go?” Cameron Bonner said. “You hear lots of jokes and good stories when you’re hanging around a car lot.”
 “Kind of like the coffee room at the courthouse,” I teased Harvey. And they said men don’t gossip!
“I think it was the Fosdicks who were the married couple. Old man Fosdick had taken him a young wife. She said she’d rather be an old man’s darlin’ than a young man’s slave. She got herself a boyfriend. The husband caught the wife fooling around with one of the Barton boys. He got his gun and set out to shoot him and found him sitting on a fence in his mama’s back yard with his two brothers. Old man Fosdick didn’t know which one for sure was the one he’d caught naked in the bed with his wife, they all looked pretty much alike, so he just chose one and shot him. In the chest. His brothers took issue with shooting one of their own, especially since it was one who hadn’t committed the crime, so they took off after Old Man Fosdick. Fosdick was old, but he was a survivor … he’d survived The War and was a tough old bird.”
“So how did Palmers get involved?” Faye Lynne asked. 
“Sophie and Dabney’s granddaddy was his doctor. The old man told him who had shot him and your granddaddy told the authorities. The authorities put the ones who shot the old man in jail.”
“And they remember that this many years after the fact?” I said.
“Well, there’s not a lot to do around here for some folks except to sharpen a grudge.” Harvey Baker said.
“Well now, what you’re saying is you think it would be payback for the Bartons to kill Palmer and own the house and property that used to be where the Palmers lived?”
“I never have figured where those Bartons get all their money,” Clayton Connor, the retired banker said. “I heard they have an airstrip out somewhere in the woods where drugs get dropped under the radar and then get distributed from that point.”
“That would be a good reason for whoever found that quilt not to let it be known where they found it.”
“But what would a bloody quilt have to do with Palmer’s suicide?” I asked.
Sister said, “What if Charlene had been having an affair with one of the Bartons. What if Charlene or one of the children caught wind of the fact that Palmer planned to rewrite his will? The one that was probated was never questioned, was it, Harvey?”
“Not to my knowledge. Cut and dried.” Harvey said.
“What if Charlene’s lover got into the house and shot Palmer, dragged his body from where it would have fallen wrapped in the quilt where he had fallen, took his own gun outside and shot it, unrolled the body in a place where it would appear that there were three solid witnesses and then took the quilt with the gun somewhere they thought no one would ever find it,” I said.
“Well now that’s a pretty complicated scenario,” said Osborne Frith who’d been listening intently to the convoluted story.
“I write novels,” I admitted. “I have a good imagination. I am always amazed at how stranger than fiction truth can actually be! How many times do you read things in the newspaper and just wonder at the avarice and stupidity of people?”
“You’re right,” Osborne Frith said. “And Cox County does have its fair share of Snopes. But an airstrip and planes dropping drugs? Connor you should be writing novels.” 
For some reason, the man’s condescension and arrogance rubbed me the wrong way.
“That’s a wild pig, isn’t it?” Faye Lynne said sweetly. She wasn’t well read, our cousin. Faulkner’s trilogy on the Snopes family wasn’t on the same shelf as BF&D Magazine. It was time for her to enter the conversation again. She’d been ignored too long.
“Not quite,” Sister said, but didn’t bother to elaborate.
“So, who’s living in Aunt Alberta’s house now?” I asked.
“Elton Barton,” Billie said. “Florence cleans for him, too. Ephraim Carter, the overseer for Waverly, also handles the grounds around that place.”
Clayton Conner stood then and must have joggled Osborne Frith’s hand because his Mint Julep spilled all over his Armani suit and down onto those fancy shoes. 
Faye Lynne jumped and tried to clean him up a bit. 
“I’ll just run into the bathroom and see what I can do with this. It is all my fault,” he said and smiled at us all showing us his perfect teeth.
Harvey had alerted us earlier to Frith’s political connections and how they had helped Harvey’s brother, the Senator. Hartwell Banks and Osborne Frith had been roommates in college. For some reason, I could not warm to him.
Harvey stood. “It’s time for me to go home.”
Faye Lynne said, “I brought a tape of the interview you did with Tony Waterman on the Wake Up Show in New Orleans.”
“Y’all want to watch it with us,” Sister asked.
We gathered in the study that used to be Aunt Anna Claire’s bedroom right off the front veranda where the only television in the house was located. Sister slipped the disk into the DVD player.
Waterman asked Sister, “How do you reconcile being a cardiologist and cooking soul food with fat back and real butter on your show?”
Sister, looking dignified and beautiful, perched primly on the edge of her chair on Waterman’s set. She hooked one foot around her other ankle like we’d been taught in our Deportment Class and said, “Well, Tony, there’s heart food and there’s soul food. One is good for the heart physically, and one ministers to our hearts soothing our souls with its familiarity, recalling those happy times with loved ones. There’s a time and a place for both of them,” she said. 
Waterman asked her lots of questions about the who, what, when and where of the show, but it was that statement that meant the most to me. Sister was a serious person and the welfare of those who respected her opinion meant a lot to her. That was an honest answer and a realistic one. No one is going to totally give up the lifestyle in which they were raised. Much relies upon genes as to general health, we sometimes speculate on whether they should be expected to totally change their traditions. I had wondered how she reconciled our new venture with her profession.
“Speaking of food,” I said. “Sister and I were thinking of going to the Cypress Ridge Dinner Club tomorrow night. Y’all want to join us there?”
Harvey said he would make the reservations and we all agreed to meet there. 
Sister, Faye Lynne, and I climbed the stairs with Gigi leading the way. Gigi would sleep outside our closed door. Adam had come in the back door while we were out on the veranda and was already asleep. We heard him snoring. 
The three of us stood outside the room with the voodoo priest’s bed and I said, “I guess you can sleep in here tonight, Faye Lynne.”
“Like hell,” Faye Lynne said. “If you won’t sleep in there why in the hell do you think I would sleep there?”
“Some of us are more sensitive than others, Faye Lynne,” I said.
“You think you’re more sensitive than I am?” Faye Lynne challenged. 
I prickled, but I don’t think it was because of any spirits. Faye Lynne just always got my hackles up.
“Well, I’m going to bed,” Sister said.
I followed. So did that damned Faye Lynne. I started to close the door to Sister’s room, but Faye Lynne pushed back. I finally gave up.
Faye Lynne had returned to Hollywood’s higher calling and Estrellita after the pilot so we had not had to figure out sleeping arrangements. But, somehow it seemed that our brave, bold Faye Lynne had returned to us fearful. I wondered what had happened. Faye Lynne would tell us in her own good time.
We all grabbed our pajamas and crossed the hall like the Three Stooges one following the other. Each of us took one of the nice slate-tiled wooden dressing rooms that held private commode and shower facilities (I chuckled when I heard Faye Lynne squeal when Madame Bovary ran out of the one she thought was hers and hers alone). Then Faye Lynne and I hurried out to make sure Sister didn’t leave us alone in that bathroom that used to be the back bedroom. We followed Sister to her king-sized bed. Sister lay down on her side of the bed. I lay down on what had now become my side of the bed. Faye Lynne just stood there beside me and waited.
“I don’t know where you’re sleeping tonight, Faye Lynne. I guess there’s a chair over there if you don’t want to sleep in Sister’s guest room,” I said.
Sister just watched. She reminded me of Ole Brer Rabbit.   
“That’s a king size bed,” Faye Lynne said.
"We’ve all slept together on a bed this size before,” she said and sat her little Bitty Butt on the bed beside me.
“We weren’t grown ladies, then, though, Faye Lynne,” I said.
She looked at me meaningfully. If she said anything about how “fluffy” I was I was going to push her Bitty Butt off onto the hardwood floor.
“If you’re going to get in this bed, why can’t you sleep in the middle?” I said.
“I might get sick with this chemotherapy and all and then you’d wake up with vomit all over you.”
I scooted over to the middle of the bed. 
I thought she was probably lying (Faye Lynne had been known to do so on occasion) because she did not want to sleep in the middle, but would you take a chance?
Sister did her usual sit up in the bed, turn the covers perfectly down and smooth out the wrinkles thing and we all lay there with our arms outside the covers looking like a trio of cadavers laid out with eyes wide open looking up at the ceiling. Skin to skin like we were in that bed, there was not much chance that we would wrinkle those covers doing any turning. At least not unless we tapped each other on the shoulder and said “turn” and we all turned together. 
“Remember how Muddy used to rub Ben Gay all over her and take out her teeth before she went to sleep?” Faye Lynne said.
“I think that’s your cue, Dabney,” Sister said.

 We were all asleep before I got to our second cousins once removed in my prayers that night.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

On the Road to Hunger Games

On the Road to 

Hunger Games

Plato envisioned a world where an elite group of philosopher kings would rule. He argues that a specific education available to the few would prepare these philosopher kings for their duties.  Such a group would be insulated from those they govern and rule by pure theory.

Have we seen such an elite develop? President Obama graduated from Harvard Law School. President George W. Bush (M.B.A. '75) and Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy are also Harvard grads. And then there is Yale where Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton matriculated.

Graduates of the London School of Economics include George Soros, Janet Napolitano, Cherie Blair (wife of former PM Tony Blair), and John F. Kennedy. 

Associated with those politicians are media leaders. Has the media assumed the role of philosopher kings, the moral arbiters, of our society? That is what some obviously think. 

As Mika  Brzezinski said so tellingly,  "He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts," she said about Trump. "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think."

"And that, that is our job," she noted, referring to the media. 

Yale Media Notables

Stephen Vincent Benet, 1919 – poet (“John Brown’s Body”), short-story writer.
William Rose Benet, 1907 --- poet, critic, author (The Reader’s Encyclopedia).
William F. Buckley Jr., 1949 – columnist, author and TV host.
Jack Ford, 1972 – network host (“20-20,” “Good Morning America,” weekend “Today Show”), former NBC legal correspondent.
 Jeffrey Greenfield, 1967 Law – TV journalist (CNN, ABC).
John R.Hersey, 1936 – novelist (“A Bell For Adano”) and historian (“Hiroshima”).
Archibald MacLeish, 1915 – poet, playwright (“J.B.”), Librarian of Congress.
David G.McCullough, 1955 – historian (“Truman,” “John Adams,” “The Greater Journey”).
David Martin, 1965 – CBS Pentagon correspondent.
Bob McKeown, 1971 – CBC TV host (“The Fifth Estate”), former CBS, NBC correspondent.
Lawrie Mifflin, 1973 – senior editor, The New York Times.
Lynn Nottage M.F.A. 1989 – 2009 Pulitzer Prizewinner in drama.
Stone Phillips, 1977 – TV host (“Dateline,” NBC).
Calvin M.Trillin, 1957 – writer, New Yorker magazine.
Garry Trudeau, 1970 – political cartoonist (“Doonesbury”).
Thornton Wilder, 1920 – playwright (“Our Town”), novelist.
Robert Woodward, 1965 – assistant managing editor, The Washington Post; author (“All the President’s Men,” “The War Within”). 
Fareed Zakaria, 1986 – editor-at-large, Time Magazine; TV host (“Global Public Square,” CNN).

Harvard Media Notables

Kurt Andersen ’76, Editor and writer, New York magazine; Former editor-in-chief, Spy magazine

Michael Barone ’66, Senior writer, U.S. News & World Report
im Bell ’89, Executive Producer, Today, NBC; Former Harvard football player

Soma Golden Behr ’61, Assistant Managing Editor, The New York Times

James Brown ’73, Sports Broadcaster, CBS Television; Three-year Harvard basketball letterman

Jim Cramer ’77 LAW ’84, Host of CNBC’s Mad Money

Lou Dobbs ’67, Anchor and television host, CNN

Linda Greenhouse ’68, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times who covers the Supreme Court
Catherine Herridge '87, Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel, women's squash letterwinner

Dave Ignatius ’72, Managing editor, International Herald Tribune
William Kristol ’73, Editor and publisher, The Weekly Standard
Seamus Malin ’62, National soccer commentator; Former Harvard soccer player; Former director, Harvard International Office
Soledad O’Brien ’88, Anchor, CNN’s American Morning
Linda McVeigh Mathews ’67 JD ’72, Former national editor, The New York Times; First female managing editor of The Harvard Crimson
Frank Rich ’71, Editorial columnist, The New York Times
Evan Thomas '73, Editor at Large Newsweek; Author, historian, reporter; Visiting professor at Harvard
Chris Wallace ’69, Journalist, host, Fox News Sunday
Jeff Zucker ’86, Executive producer, NBC News

What ideas percolate through the rarified atmosphere of these elite schools? Among those whom the elite among us consider the most well-educated and therefore the most qualified persons to rule? Would they be Plato's idea of philosopher kings?  Would they share a contempt for the “deplorables” among us?

What happens when there is no diversity of opinion? When diversity and tolerance applies only to race, religion and gender?

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

Suzanne Collins' novels recently brought the elitist city of Panem into our lexicon. This conquering District managed to bring other Districts to heel. They lived on the fruit of others' labor and kept the other Districts subdued by force and the annual Games. 

Do we now see the advance of Panem on the coasts and in pockets throughout our country?

Have our children been so brainwashed through the national control of curriculum in those areas and on college campuses as to believe that nationalism/patriotism is bad, that only those of certain mindset understand the true issues that threaten our world?

“...most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”
The education system has inculcated a disdain for dead white men whose western ideals and theories on democracy, capitalism and freedom produced stable societies that encourage creative economic development and the free expression of ideas. In this country, the place where contempt for those dead white men who espoused those ideals runs rampant, those haters of all things western all enjoy the standard of living those ideas have produced. 

The British Empire brought these concepts to their client states. When independence movements cast them out of Africa, for example, tribalism returned, roads deteriorated, industrial buildings rusted, disease became rampant, clean water and education for all children diminished as more people fell into poverty and gangs took control. Anti-colonialism meant the rejection of the ideas, literature, government of old white men. 

Those who challenge the idea that all cultures are equal (Multiculturalism) are labeled racist. Perhaps they have merely learned from history. That epithet is thrown around labeling all of a different opinion. Diversity of opinion is banned from civic discourse. Silenced. Often with violence. 

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.” 
In addition to the hysterical claims of racism, radical environmentalism provides the vehicle now being used to make our people willing to hand over power to an international unelected governing body favored by those associated with George Soros, Hillary Clinton and others in the international Non-Governmental Organizations of the world. They seek to levy taxes on carbon emissions. First they create a sense of crisis and then move in using the courts to establish the mandate for their own agenda.

To whom would one pay these emissions fees and who determines the distribution of monies so collected? How much enforcement power would go to these unelected officials?

President Trump euphemistically calls it The Swamp. They exist in the shadows throughout the government and in the media. And now they rage against the light being shown upon them, mobilizing the radical elements both conservative and liberal to create fear and violence throughout our society.  They attempt to silence us by intimidation so that we will not speak out against the true purpose of these anarchists who merely seek to create a state in which there is widespread wrongdoing and disregard for rules. Then someone else (waiting in the wings) will be called to establish order. 

 As whistleblower Snowden revealed ...

“Big Brother is Watching You.” 

― George Orwell1984

Are we witnessing an orchestrated coup intentionally choreographed to bring down a President of the United States?

So where does the destruction of statues of the Old South apply here, other than to play into the anarchists hands? 

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink."

And what about the intimidation of those with differing views?

“Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch – this is the Capitol's way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. "Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there's nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen."
--Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games

And so, Panem is established.