A subtle but important distinction
It bears mentioning that I really actually did predict the sanctification of George Floyd and the bloody aftermath.
I believe they misstepped, too, and it detracts from their post. I've admired Jonathan Haidt for a long time--gave copies of his first book, 'The Righteous Mind' to relatives and a friend when it was published in 2012. He was at UVA when he wrote it. He moved to New York and I may be mistaken, but I'm almost sure he was in Charlottesville and wrote about it when the tiki-torch jerks invaded the Lawn and threatened Jefferson's statue Friday night before the Saturday demonstration. So I'm willing to cut Professor Haidt some slack--it was his home. I feel differently about the politicians and media types who keep repeating the falsehood about what Trump said.
Thank you for the links to the court documents from 2017 and 2021. Reading them together is chilling. I'll paste a link to a well-written article in the Charlottesville weekly paper about the unnamed "citizen" in the 2017 court documents who donated the statues and the parks. It is much more informative than the current Wikpedia entry. Unfortunately, the article is now archived behind a paywall....https://www.c-ville.com/paul-goodloe-mcintire-goodwill-men/
I appreciate your saying: "Dylan Roof can kill nine in Charleston and not set off so much acrimony as the gang of neo-confederates in Charlottesville tells us something very important." Something went clunk in my gut - yes that is the best counter I've encountered to all this meta power struggle over a statue or whatever to point to the real, but, as you say, probably insane, act of horrific and gratuitous racism by Roof. It seems to me that we humans often lose site of the original issue when we take to arguing and fighting. Heck, I've seen similar behaviour in cats, not mention myself. Recently, John Vervaeke in the context of discussing Philo Sophia - ie love of Wisdom, spoke of this tendency as Philo Nike - ie love of victory. I think there is a mistaking of the symbol for the thing itself - a category mistake if you will - that leads to both sides getting emotionally committed and losing any sense of balance. So yeah, there will probably be much more bloodletting before it is done.