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Threat Assessment

© Tom Tomorrow

TT admits that he initially finished this strip a week ago, but rewrote the final panel before publishing it because of Charlottesville. He didn’t want to wait until next week’s comic to make a point about neo-nazis because, well, we will probably have forgotten all about Charlottesville by then because something even more terrible or disgusting will have happened by then.

© Chan Lowe



  1. Hassan wrote:

    I am first generation immigrant, not much a history student, can someone tell me why confederacy and its loser individuals so much honored in US? I mean those people fought against USA, so why they are treated as heroes? It is like after Iraq wins its civil war against ISIS, it honors ISIS leaders, and people keep putting ISIS stickers on their trucks, that would be very strange.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    The Southern Side of my family came here in 1613. My Great Great Grandfather was governor of Virginia when John Brown invaded Harper’s ferry (which was still a part of Virginia at the time) In the book “Cold Mountain” it starts with the Gov being informed of the invasion.
    Slavery was part of their life. The slaves where unpaid family. When Henry Wise’s second wife died, the Mammy took over care of my Great Grandfather. Henry wise knew when his right hand man Jim was freed that he would stay right with his former master. Jim took off right away a free man.
    My Great Grandfather John S. Wise had a mother from Philadelphia who inculc him against the evils of slavery. He wrote a wonderful book Called “the end of an ERa” about growing up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It is available on Kindle.
    Lee and Wise while they did not believe in slavery, did believe in State’s Rights and didn’t like the North telling them what to do. Henry Wise was a Brigadier General for the South. He did not take the oath of allegiance to the USA after the war. He did not get his property back.
    While John was very opened minded, his son my grandfather was as right wing as they come. He would not employ black people to work for him blaming them for the loss of the property deeded to the family from the king in the 1600s.
    My Grandfather was a Judge in Western New York but also head the REpublican party in Virginia. He ran against Harry Byrd for Senator and lost. Every fall after Harry Byrd would send him a bushel of apples.

    John Wise recently 2014 had a movie made about him. A very poor movie, but it does bring out his attitude to slavery. “Field of Lost Shoes” After the war, John Wise wanted the slaves educated (along with many others who came from the North.) At the end of “The end of an ERa” john Wise states that he thinks black people should be equal to White, but he feels that they should not marry. “And that is just my opinion,” he says. John Wise married Eva Douglas for whom I’m named. A ship in New York rescued people from the germans during World War One.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    EBDOUG, thanks for that information. I understand slavery was part of life in early USA. My question is for whatever reasons south fought north (slavery/economics/state rights), they lost. Why losers are being honored, and why confederate flag is flown without much fear and shame.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    I think what I’m saying is that the educated like my family (magistrates, lawyers, representatives in congress) took their lumps, educated the former slaves and went on with life. Again it is the uneducated like those that demonstrated in Charlottesville. Even my cousin who is a year older than I am lives in Charlottesville doesn’t have a college degree. I would not be surprised if he was in the midst of the demonstrators who want the statute to stay. It is all about education. Understand, Trump did not have education. He was sent to a military school, then business school. Apparently they learned about the wars, but apparently Trump didn’t learn.
    Throughout history of man, it is all about education. The boy in South Sudan who came to this country, got on a bus and thought he was on his way. Absolutely no idea of geography or that he would be in an airplane to get here.
    I think you live in Texas. Texas is great on “intelligent design”; therefore people like Obama are less intelligent than the whites. Intelligent design gives them that out. My experience is that the Chinese and middle Easterners are more intelligent than whites.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Dave, TN wrote:

    Sometimes, not always but sometimes it is nothing more simple as a scape goat. People in the south believe in others taking responsibility for their action, but are not always so good at taking their own advise and owning up to their own responsibility.
    Looking backwards through rhe foggy lens of time southerners see better times, simpler times and pine for those days. So when life gets complicated or just plain hard they want to lay blame at someone elses feet for their day, and looking back to those days and why they changed. The blame gets placed on the North’s doorstep and therefore anything supporting the opposite must be good.
    I know its a simplistic explanation but when speaking of people who shun education simple is the result. The answer is extremely more difficult and complicated and I fear it will get quite a few more degrees ugly before it gets better. The violence will eventually force us to look more closely for a solution but “when” is the last question I’ll leave this discussion with.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink
  6. Wildwood wrote:

    Hassan, I am old, I was born in the south, but only lived there for the first few years and then we moved to St. Louis which is sort of south-light. I have no idea why they have been unable to move on after the Civil War. I have no idea why many do not recognize that when the southern states left the union they become non-citizens and committed treason in the action against the US. Then they lost that war, which should have resulted in all those memorials and statues never being put in place to begin with. The fact that this was not only allowed, but allowed to continue to present day is absurd. I wonder, at times, if all the acceptance by the rest of the US of the south’s idolatry of those who fought against the US is part of the reason we are where we are. Many had family members who fought, sometimes on both sides of the war. But the truth is, those who fought for the south were non US citizen and acting in a treasonous manner and the south needs to be told that and reminded of that, in part by the removal of all those commemorative icons that have been allowed to stand. It will take decades to remove the stench, but it needs to be done with the hope that in the future the Civil War can become a minor blip in the history of this country instead of a major irritant.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink
  7. ebdoug wrote:

    Instead of substituting as a nurse in a school is the Appalachian, I was called to substitute in a class, social studies. Not on the agenda was to ask the students as I did, where their families came from. Dead silence. They had no interest. They are just lower animals. That is who marches with these silly White supremacists who worship Trump/Hitler

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  8. William wrote:


    I think the answer is complicated. There is no one answer.

    Some southerners have no use for the racism of the old confederacy. They truly have moved on. They don’t fly the confederate flag or honor the confederacy.

    Some do wistfully long for simper times. Maybe they are straight, white, lower-middle-class, and used to have simple but stable jobs, and life just doesn’t seem to offer much to them these days. Perhaps they view Gone With the Wind as providing a glimpse into gentility that they feel they missed out on, that feel increasingly distant now.

    Some certainly are racists, likely brought up by racist parents, and really do believe that they’re superior to “others” of whatever minority.

    Some have been fed the lie that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery, that the south was punished by the north, that it really was a good life for most, or at least for all “of the right kind of people.” They may wave the flag intending it to be a sign that they wish for that kind of life again, without realizing that it was a lie, and that few lived lives of comfort, and that many, many had lives of hardship.

    Some are just ignorant, and uneducated, and believe whatever they see or hear on their selected media source.

    Perhaps the events of the past months have served to peel back the veil, to make clear how much hatred and bigotry remains. Alas, people have died because of this residue, in Charlottesville, in Charleston, and elsewhere. Nothing more can be done for them.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  9. David Freeman wrote:

    I generally agree with what William just said, it’s complicated. However it is NOT just the South. It’s more obvious here and it’s assumed here but unarmed young black men are disproportionately shot by police all over the country. People of color have are incarcerated at a much higher rate for drug offenses all across the country though drug use is about the same between races.
    That said, all my ancestors which I know of fought and some relatives died for the Confederacy. Thank God we lost!!!
    I was born and raised in South Carolina. The War Between the States, as it was called down here, was covered much more thoroughly than any other topic in history class. Thoroughly in content not thoroughly in accuracy. That makes a difference.
    I apologize for two long comments in a row but I would like to mention that most of these Confederate monuments were not built shortly after the war and were not even built to memorialize the war. Most were built in the 20s to 50s during the period when JIM Crow laws were restablished and the Civil Rights movement was repressed. Often, with Charlottesville being a prominent example, the land for the monument was confiscated from black areas of town and placement cut of black businesses from access to markets as well. Monuments were used to divide and intimidate. These monuments, as a whole, simply aren’t historical in the normal sense.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Hassan, thanks for asking a good question, and thanks to everyone who responded. I too have lived in the south a significant portion of my life and will also say “it’s complicated”. Yes, there is racism in the south, but in many ways (as David says) there is just as much racism in the rest of the country, it is just not expressed so obviously.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  11. Wildwood wrote:

    IK, you are right. You could ask almost anyone in the country if they are racist and they would be shocked you would ask them that question. But you dig a little and there it is. We all have biases and I fight that in myself often. Years ago, when we lived in California, there was a dislike of both Asians and Hispanics. In Arizona, it was Native American and Hispanics. You get it in any part of the country. I’m pretty sure the ones that are targets have biases as well, even without being the subject of the same bias from others. Your skin is the wrong color, you go the wrong church, you talk funny, you wear odd clothes. You Do Not Belong.

    I can remember as a child, hearing my father rail against Blacks, (not the word he used). At some point in my early teens, a group I had joined was going to throw party for a group of poor Black children at a downtown community center. We were each asked to provide candy and treats in small amounts. I had to ask my Dad for some money for the treats. He said he would take care of it. He came home with a huge bag of candy and cupcakes for me to take to the party. This was my bigoted father. A lot of talk but not much else. If you asked him if he was racist, he would have probably said yes, but I’m not sure. I think it comes in degrees, racism does, and some degrees are more virulent than others. For my Dad, if I had said we were throwing a party for adults, the story would have been different. It was for children so that made it okay. We very much have a herd mentality and if all your relatives and all your neighbors think one way, it’s hard to not go along. I’m more the kind if you tell me to go this way I will go the other after I think it through. Other people are more easily led. There is comfort and safety in conforming. So as I think about Hassan’s original question, I think the answer is that it’s easier to go along to get along, particularly when everyone around you think they know the answers. Backbone is a rare commodity in the world.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink