Two Perspectives On Charlottesville: Bob Ballinger & Wendell Griffen

Aug 18, 2017

A monument to the women of the Confederacy on Arkansas's Capitol grounds.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Events in Charlottesville, Virginia have sparked discussions in Arkansas about the proper response to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as renewed debate about the meaning of Confederate monuments. Take a listen to KUAR's interviews with state Rep. Bob Ballinger and pastor, judge, and author Wendell Griffen.

Ballinger says he rejects white supremacists but reveres parts of the Confederacy. He says a false equivalency has been drawn between fascists and those that respect Southern heritage. Ballinger also believes that the Black Lives Matter movement constitutes a hate group - though less vile than Nazis. He generally supports legislation to make it more difficult to remove public monuments.

Griffen is calling on the white community to fix a problem - white supremacy - of its own creation. He says condemnations of white nationalists by Arkansas Republicans have been far too tepid and notes they fail to include the name, "Donald Trump." He said comparing counter protesters - in any way - to Nazis and the KKK is "colossal ignorance" at best and indicates "solidarity" with racists and fascists at its worst.