Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America | The New Yorker

This is what happened…and commentary about it.  A GREAT think piece!!


“Over the weekend, Charlottesville became the site of an extended white-supremacist revival meeting. On Friday night, like a nightmarish graduation procession, a few hundred white supremacists marched with torches down the long green lawn that leads to the Rotunda, the University of Virginia’s signature building.

“They chanted Nazi slogans in the open, undisguised, unafraid of being photographed, proud to be seen. They circled a statue of Thomas Jefferson and attacked a group of student counter-protesters who held a banner reading “UVA Students Act Against White Supremacy” at the statue’s base.

“On Saturday morning, flanked by militia men carrying automatic weapons, the white supremacists assembled in McIntire Park, with swastikas and Confederate flags fully visible; David Duke was there, along with other representatives of the Ku Klux Klan.

“The counter-protest had grown. Religious leaders had gathered at dawn to pray, and progressive and anti-fascist groups tracked the demonstration to Emancipation Park, which was once named Lee Park, after the Confederate general. There, the violence implied in a “white pride” protest erupted, and the rally was dispersed.

“As the counter-protesters moved on foot towards the adjacent Downtown Mall, a man who had come to town to show his support for white supremacy drove his car down a wide pedestrian alley, killing one woman and injuring nineteen people; he then backed out of the alley and drove away.

“This wasn’t the first white-supremacist rally held in Charlottesville in 2017, and it likely won’t be the last. On Saturday, the self-promoting white supremacist Richard Spencer, a proponent of oxymorons (“peaceful ethnic cleansing”) who is also a University of Virginia graduate, filmed himself saying, “Your head’s gonna spin, how many times we’re going to be back here . . . We’re going to make Charlottesville the center of the universe.”

“The white supremacists have successfully pushed a narrative that they chose Charlottesville because it represents progressive values. Ostensibly, this is all a protest over the impending removal of a large statue of Robert E. Lee. Jason Kessler, the organizer of Saturday’s rally (and another U.V.A. graduate), calls Charlottesville a “very far left community that has absorbed these cultural Marxist principles advocated in college towns across the country, about blaming white people for everything.”

“In fact, Charlottesville, while it is home to many progressive people, skillfully models the exact sort of coercive propriety and self-exculpation from the legacy of American racism that has allowed white supremacy to publicly re-emerge….”

Source: Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America | The New Yorker

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