|White supremacist Trump supporters|
The husband and I just got back from Charlottesville, Virginia where I attended my law school class reunion. We stayed at my sister and brother-in-law's home - who were out of the country - and enjoyed both the reunion events and spending time with one my nephews who was staying at his parents' home while they were gone. For those not familiar with Virginia or Charlottesville, it is perhaps the most liberal city in Virginia (in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton got 79.68% of the vote and Der Trumpenführer, got only 13.17% of the vote; even in surrounding Albemarle County, a one time Republican bastion, Clinton got 58.78% to Trump's 33.95%). Thus, it was a shock to see the media coverage of the protest by Trump supporting white supremacists in town at Lee park where they are enraged that a statute of Confederate general Robert E. Lee is to be removed from the park per a recent city council vote. Indeed, my nephew, a long time resident of Charlottesville and graduate of the University of Virginia even conjectured that it was very unlikely that the protesters were actual residents of Charlottesville - or even Albemarle County. More likely, they came from more remote surrounding counties that are much more reactionary and supported Donald Trump in the presidential election thanks to his racist rhetoric and self-prostitution to evangelical Christian leaders. The Daily Progress looks at the protest that looked like a KKK rally except for the missing white robes:
Several dozen torch-wielding protesters gathered in Charlottesville’s Lee Park just after 9 p.m. Saturday, chanting “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.”
After about 10 minutes, Charlottesville police arrived at the scene following an altercation between protesters. The crowd quickly dispersed with no further incidents, according to police.
In April, Charlottesville City Council voted to sell the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands in the park, but a judge earlier this month issued an injunction that prevents the city from doing so for six months.
The city’s decision has drawn considerable consternation from Southern heritage groups, Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart and a number of others in Virginia and elsewhere.
Richard Spencer, a University of Virginia graduate and a white nationalist who popularized the term “alt-right,” wrote about the event at the Lee statue, as well as one earlier in the day at the city’s statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Jackson Park, in several Twitter posts.
In a statement, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the event “either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK. Either way, as mayor of this city, I want everyone to know this: we reject this intimidation. We are a welcoming city, but such intolerance is not welcome here.”
On Twitter, Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, called the “outrageous protests in Charlottesville this evening by apparent white supremacists” unacceptable.
Police were unable to confirm exactly who or what groups were at Lee and Jackson parks on Saturday night.
I am a lover of history, but the time has come when statutes to Confederate leaders need to be relegated to museums. It is inappropriate to have statutes on public property who for whatever reasons fought to retain slavery. And I say this as someone who could quality for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, if I so desired. Yes, I have Confederate ancestors on my mother's side. Sadly, those like the demonstrators in Charlottesville have turned Confederate history into a memorial for racism and bigotry.