Charlottesville Virginia, Preface.
First off lets set a few expectations, and a few bits of understanding between I ( the writer) and you( the reader). I do not condone any act of violence directed at anyone. The way people on both sides of the fence acted in this situation needs to be examined and that’s what we are going to attempt to do here. At the end of this article I will lay out my personnel opinion on the matter, but the bulk of this piece will have to do with attempting to understand how we got here.
Understanding the Intent.
The first bit of information in this kaleidoscope of idiocy is the intended removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park. It was decided by the city council to remove and sell the statue, and rename the park in which it sits. Shortly after that decision came down, a judge put a temporary halt on the removal of the statue. The injunction gave the city six months before the statue could be removed, which left time open for legal battles in regards to the ability of the city to remove the statues. Both the park which houses the Robert E Lee statue, and one where a statue of “Stonewall” Jackson sits were renamed. Almost immediately the protest started.
On May 13th 2017, Richard Spencer led a protest in Charlottesville, against the proposed removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. Richard Spencer is a viewed as a white supremest, although he states himself that he rejects “white supremacy”. Local groups associate with the fight to keep the statues in place spoke out against Spencer and the protest that occurred.
Unite The Right Rally
A rally was organized by Jason Kessler for August 11 and 12 2017, that would bring together dozen of far-right groups in protest. The rally itself went through a small legal battle, and on the evening of August 11 it was ruled that the rally could proceed. There were incidents on the night of August 11 on the campus of UVA involving protestors and counter protestors which climaxed in slurs and violence.
Before the rally actually begun on August 12, the violence had already started. Many different flags/signs could be seen from the confederate battle flag, to nazi signs, to Trump hats. By 11am on August 12 a state of emergency had been declared and over a dozen people had been wounded in street brawls between the two sides. The rally wasnt scheduled to start untill noon.
The violence took a turn for the worst around 1:45pm, when a white male allegedly drove his car through a crowd of protestors, killing one and injuring many more. Both Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer were quick to denounce the violence. Some went on to blame the counter protestors and the police for the violence.
At no time do two wrongs make a right. At no time is violence ok towards our fellow-man. It takes two to tango. I could go on and on but you get the point. Doing a simple search through YouTube and you can find video supporting both sides of the fence, in the idea that the other side was being violent. It boils down to the fact that we as a nation are walking away with a black eye, and this is just round one it would seem.
Here is where I stand with all this. 1: I hope they throw the book at the monster who killed that poor woman. 2: I despise anyone who believes that they are high and mighty, that they are better by birth than other human being, white, black, brown, red, yellow, orange,blue, rich , poor etc. 3: I have no concern for the monuments either way, but the point is that the community made a decision, and people from outside of the community are attempting to force their will on them. That is wrong no matter how you look at it. It’s a local issue and it should be decided by the locals. 4: It’s easy to sit here and say this but, violence is never the answer. A picture of a black officer standing in front of the protestors is circulating the web. This is a perfect example, in the face of pure hate, he held his head up and did his job. If he was yelling back at them then the photo would not hold the same weight. (Also I know the picture is from another older event.) Be better than the people who wish the worst on you.
Fear. Remember this, fear is the motivator here. Always remember that no matter what the name of the hate group is, fear is their currency. Do not give into it, fight it with compassion and understanding. Put down your ego and try to understand that none of us were born hating anyone else, they grew into it, were taught it, and most likely had it beat into them. Compassion will always come out ahead.
As a side note make sure you look at the list of groups who attended this rally. If you find yourself hating what happened here, but a group you think you agree with is listed, well maybe you need to do some soul-searching.
Now you know.