The culture war comes to the Old Dominion
"The poor twisted creature could hardly have found a worse time to sharpen Southern fears of a slave rising." Turner was tried and hanged and, that winter, writes Furnas, "The Virginia legislature voted down by a narrow margin a bill for gradual extinction of slavery."
Nat Turner's terrorism had set back emancipation.
Let me go out on a limb: If the Virginia General Assembly votes to replace Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Nat Turner, it will not be the unifying event Wexton imagines.
But the Assembly will be dealing soon with measures even more volatile.
On Jan. 20, "Lobby Day" at the Assembly, thousands of gun advocates, many openly armed, will be coming to Richmond to protest new gun laws Northam and his new Democratic majority campaigned on and are determined to deliver.
Already, 110 towns, cities and counties in Virginia have created "Second Amendment sanctuaries" where new state laws that restrict gun rights will not be enforced by local authorities.
As the Washington Post writes,
"Virginia is a former Confederate State with strong rural traditions and lax gun laws. Guns represent the strongest, reddest line against the demographic changes that have seen Old Dominion voters usher in a new era of Democratic leadership in recent elections.
"A Nevada-based group called the Oath Keepers said it is sending training teams to help form posses and militia in Virginia. The leader of a Georgia militia called Three Percent Security Force has posted videos and calls to arms on Facebook, urging 'patriots' to converge on Richmond."
Still, the divisions among Virginians are not only over history, heroes and guns, they are also moral and religious.