This month, it seems that all eyes have been on Charlottesville, Virginia. The world watches as they recover from the violent and racist protests that sent the community into a state of emergency.
It began on August 11 when white supremacists, who came into town for the Unite the Right rally, gathered around a Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia.
They lit torches and chanted ‘“Blood and soil!” “You will not replace us!” “Jews will not replace us!”’ reported The Washington Post.
The group attracted University of Virginia students who counter-protested. Things quickly escalated as both groups attacked each other.
However, the violence was nowhere near what the next day would bring.
The rally on August 12 was meant to protest the removal of the Confederate statue, Robert E. Lee, at the Emancipation Park. White supremacist protesters were quickly joined by their counter-protesters.
According to The Washington Post, protesters, “arrived in contingents, waving nationalist banners and chanting slogans. Many carried shields and clubs. A large number also carried pistols or long guns,” while counter-protesters, “carried sticks and shields.”
Violence erupted just before ll a.m. as both sides charged at each other, punching and spraying chemicals. Despite the Charlottesville Police lined up around the rally, they did not intervene.
According to CNN, Virginia’s Governor, Terry McAuliffe, insisted protesters, “Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.”
Among the many injured, there were three fatalities. State troopers Jay Cullen and Berke M. M. Bates fatally crashed their helicopter while monitoring the rally. James Alex Fields Jr., a white supremacist, drove through a crowded street and ran over 20 people, killing one woman, later identified as Heather Heyer.
President Trump hesitated to condemn the violence, and went so far as to say “I think there is blame on both sides,” and, “What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right,’ do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem? I think they do,” reported CNN.
According to CNN he also disapproved the removal of Confederate statues in Baltimore claiming, “You are changing history, you are changing culture.”
San Diego mayor, Kevin Faulconer, ordered the removal of the plaque honoring the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.
In this sensitive time Faulconer believes, “San Diegans [need tostand together against Confederate symbols of division,” stated the San Diego Union Tribune.
Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, denied a meeting with President Trump saying “[he] can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying ‘I’m sorry,’” reported NBC News.
In honor of her daughter, Bro creating the Heather Heyer Foundation, which she announced at the Video Music Awards.