Opinion Violence and venom: This is not the Charlottesville I know

18:50  13 august  2017
18:50  13 august  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

Pence defends Trump response to Charlottesville violence

  Pence defends Trump response to Charlottesville violence Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday condemned white supremacists and defended President Trump following criticism that the administration failed to adequately condemn specific groups after Saturday violence in Charlottesville, Virginia."Trump had neglected to name the groups that organized the rally that turned violent in Charlottesville the previous day.

Violence and venom : This is not the Charlottesville I know . The hatred, the bigotry – the bloodshed. How could this be happening at the home of my beloved alma mater and in a progressive city that boasts a warm and inclusive environment?

It is more important than ever that people come to Charlottesville and attend this event. We need to make our presence felt, we need to make sure the city knows that we are not going to be silenced so easily. We need as many people here as possible.

Multiple white nationalist groups hold the grounds at Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, during a 'Unite the Right' rally.© Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK Multiple white nationalist groups hold the grounds at Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, during a 'Unite the Right' rally.

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This is not the Charlottesville I know.

Torch-toting white nationalists whose chants of “White lives matter” and “You will not replace us” pierced the night Friday as they marched down the marble steps of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia.

Some 12 hours later, armed militia groups stood ground in a city park in protest of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, the trigger for a “Unite the Right” rally.

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"The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Start every morning with all you need to know .

It is more important than ever that people come to Charlottesville and attend this event. We need to make our presence felt, we need to make sure the city knows that we are not going to be silenced so easily.

Soon, fists were flying and pepper spray permeated the air as fascists and counter-protesters brawled near the park. Trash and bottles became missiles; wooden poles from flags and banners jousting sticks.

And then the ultimate act of terror: A car accelerated down a narrow street in the city’s quaint district near the Downtown Mall, a street lined with peaceful protesters, and slammed into the crowd, leaving one dead and nearly 20 injured.

The hatred, the bigotry – the bloodshed. How could this be happening at the home of my beloved alma mater and in a progressive city that boasts a warm and inclusive environment?

Charlottesville, a once-sleepy central Virginia town, has proudly picked up  accolades in recent years: one of the happiest and healthiest places by Business Insider, best college town by Travelers Today, the fifth-best place to live in 2017 by the Livability index. It is a city rich in ethnic diversity and steeped in history. It is a place with a vibrant cultural scene and nightlife, even being named one of the best small cities for foodies by Travelocity.

Trump went off-script with 'many sides' remark: report

  Trump went off-script with 'many sides' remark: report President Trump reportedly ad-libbed part of his controversial statement Saturday in response to the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. Two White House officials told ABC News the president went off script in his comments, in which he blamed "many sides" for the violence, as opposed to specifically singling out white nationalists and the far right."Those were his own words," one senior White House official said.The official said those words "were not" prepared for the president.

“We stand united behind the President in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and any message of hate and intolerance.” White nationalist groups who have come to be known at the “alt-right” drafted off Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and rose to national prominence by tying themselves to

White nationalist groups who have come to be known at the "alt-right" drafted off Trump's candidacy in 2016 and rose to national prominence by tying themselves to Trump's message. State of emergency declared amid violence at Charlottesville ’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally.

It is a green city nestled near the Blue Ridge mountains and is the gateway to Shenandoah National Park. It is home to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop plantation.

And at the centerpiece of it all — the University of Virginia, a renowned campus founded and designed by Jefferson and known for its deep traditions, elite academic standing and student-run honor system. The campus is called the Academical Village, based on Jefferson’s ideal that learning is a life-long and shared process that stretches well beyond the classroom.

Charlottesville is a place defined by tolerance and humanity, not hostility and fanaticism.

How then can you explain the sickening and disgraceful scenes played out in full national view on Friday and Saturday — the third alt-right infiltration the city has seen in recent months?

”One of the reasons is the ring leader, Richard Spencer, is a UVA alum, so he is connected to the Charlottesville area,” says Carole Emberton, associate professor of history at the University at Buffalo. But she notes that Spencer, a self-proclaimed white nationalist, triggered violent clashes when he spoke at Auburn University in April.

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Governor McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville . Charlottesville , once home to Thomas Jefferson, is known as a progressive city of about 47,000 people.

Update, 11:03 a.m.: The “Unite the Right” neo-Nazi/KKK rally hasn’t even started yet in Charlottesville , but already violence and chaos have broken out. Mike Pence Really Wants You to Know He’s Not Running for President in 2020.

“In this instance, the removal of the Lee statue ignited the event, but I think that was just a superficial cause, an excuse in some way. It focused these people’s attention on this place, but it could be something else, somewhere else,” she says. “There was a confluence of different things in Charlottesville, but there was not something particular to Charlottesville.”

White nationalists view universities as a “symbolism for liberalism,” she says, so they have become targets.

“But I do think it is important to point out this can happen all over the country these days,” Emberton says. “All of this rhetoric, very hateful rhetoric: White supremacists are emboldened and are more vocal and aggressive now.”

Will the horror played out this weekend be a tipping point to clamp down harder on the venom of the alt-right?

Sadly no, Emberton says.

“I don’t see this going away any time soon. This is exactly what happens when you have people in positions of power in the government who are echoing these kinds of theories and narratives of white suffering,” she says.

“So yes, this was in Charlottesville, but it can happen anywhere and is likely to happen again somewhere else,” Emberton says

My heart aches for my UVA community and the good people of Charlottesville.

Matt Riley, a photographer and graphic designer for UVA Athletics, perhaps said it best when he tweeted at the height of the violence on Saturday: “The people that make this place GREAT will be here long after the hate.”

Follow Susan Miller on Twitter @susmiller

Idaho state rep shares conspiracy theory accusing Obama of staging Charlottesville .
An Idaho state lawmaker is facing backlash for sharing a conspiracy theory that former President Obama helped to orchestrate the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as part of a plot to take down President Trump. Idaho Rep. Bryan Zollinger on Friday posted a story on Facebook that suggested Obama and other top Democrats like billionaire George Soros and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe were part of a conspiracy to set up the rally, the Post Register reported. "I'm not saying it is true, but I am suggesting that it is completely plausible," Zollinger wrote on Facebook.

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