The people of Charlottesville, Virginia were treated last night to a whole big pile of hateful crazies, all in one place. And carrying lighted torches.
You see, the city council decided that it was about time to take down the big statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a local park. A century and a half after General Lee tried but failed to break up the United States, the city fathers decided it was time to remove his memorial.
This idea was, perhaps predictably, opposed by some in the community. In fact, a lawsuit was filed to stop the city from taking it down. There is a six month temporary injunction in place to prevent the city from taking down the statue of General Lee.
But that didn’t stop local boy Richard Spencer, creator of the term “alt-right,” from orchestrating a big protest. As one of the nation’s best known white supremacists, and a graduate of the University of Virginia, Spencer was able to attract large numbers of racists to his cause.
They gathered last night, carrying lit torches, in Lee Park. As if it wasn’t intimidating enough for a crowd of white supremacists to march around with torches, they also chanted a whole array of hateful slogans. There were chants of “White lives matter” and a bunch of Nazi sayings. If you can believe it, these nuts were even chanting “Russia is our friend.”
Local politicians spoke out against the protest, using social media as well as press releases. A statement from the city’s mayor made it clear that he abhors the hate speech that has hit his city.
— Allison Wrabel (@craftypanda) May 14, 2017
Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello was even more blunt in his comments.
Get your white supremacist hate out of my hometown. https://t.co/KfkxHImvze
— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) May 13, 2017
In an email sent to his supporters, Perriello laid the blame for the rise in hate speech directly at the feet of the President of the United States. He said:
“As much as we all wish this was an isolated incident, it’s not. Emboldened by President Trump, this racism is spreading in our communities, our Commonwealth, and our country. After Trump’s election, many of these racist leaders were given a platform and vindication. They want us to regress by decades.”
It’s easy to see why so many people blame Trump and his racist rhetoric for the upswing in this kind of Nazi alt-right event. Last November, Spencer held a gathering of white supremacists. He led the crowd in a round Nazi salutes while shouting, “Hail, Trump!”
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.