My hometown of Charlottesville, Va., has become the latest poster child in a heated war of words—and actions—over racism, “sanitizing history,” extremism (both right and left), political correctness, hate speech, partisan politics, and a growing fear that violent words will end in violent actions.
In Charlottesville, as in so many parts of the country right now, the
conflict is over how to reconcile the nation’s checkered past,
particularly as it relates to slavery, with the present need to sanitize
the environment of anything—words and images—that might cause offense, especially if it’s a Confederate flag or monument.