I am literally shaking while writing this.
A mob — there is no other appropriate word — of torch carrying white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia tonight. Among them: Richard Spencer.
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.
Well not everyone, actually. And while the torch-wielding mob’s ostensible purpose was to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, this was just the latest excuse for white nationalist racist terrorism.
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.
“Southern heritage groups.” And “candlelit marches.”
Those aren’t candles.
Years ago, I wrote a naive and stupid story for a newspaper I was then employed by. It concerned a KKK Rally outside of a Buddhist Temple being constructed in Texas. There was no actual violence, in the sense that no one was physically injured, and I used the word “peaceful” to describe the end of it. My dear friend and mentor, Gloria Emerson, wrote me a letter chastising me about this. Never, ever describe these dangerous hooligans as “peaceful,” she wrote. Their purpose is to intimidate and terrorize. The Mayor of Charlottesville understands this.
I went to school in Charlottesville thirty years ago. I am literally sickened by this. I am grateful for the statement from the UVa Student Council:
Those carrying torches have been emboldened by the occupant of the White House. This needs to be stopped and ended. Now.