A day of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia has left three people dead, dozens injured and laid bare the increasingly roiling racial and political divisions.
The largest gathering of white supremacists on American soil in over a decade was ostensibly to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, enshrined in bronze on horseback in the city’s Emancipation Park.
But it quickly descended into violent clashes between
1) Nazis Held A Torchlight Rally. In America. In 2017.
Yes, Nazis. And they made no attempt to hide their admiration for Hitler.
Here’s a video of them chanting the Nazi slogan “blood and soil”...
And here’s a Hitler quote for good measure...
But they did ruin their image somewhat by using Tiki torches and dressing in chinos and polo shirts.
2) Even More Worryingly, These Same People Were Praising Donald Trump
3) This Woman Was Killed After Being Deliberately Mown Down By A Car.
Allegedly by this guy.
Peaceful protesters were marching downtown, carrying signs that read “black lives matter” and “love.” A silver Dodge Challenger suddenly came barreling through “a sea of people” and smashed into another car, said Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student.
The impact hurled people into the air and blew off their shoes. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed as she crossed the street, reports the Associated Press.
“It was a wave of people flying at me,” said Sam Becker, 24, sitting in the emergency room to be treated for leg and hand injuries.
4) He Already Has A Fan Club On Facebook
5) Donald Trump Refused To Condemn Nazis And White Supremacists
Rather than specifically speaking out in criticism of members of the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacists or the neo-Nazis who brought torches and bats to the rally, the US president blamed the unrest on “many sides.”
Later Trump condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.” He added: “It’s been going on for a long time in our country.
“Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
He did not answer questions from reporters about whether he rejected the support of white nationalists or whether he believed the car crash was an example of domestic terrorism.
And who was satisfied with the statement? Well, neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer for one.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, wasn’t quite so happy...
6) The Former President Had To Show The Current President How To Act
1.3 million likes and counting.
In fact pretty much every other US politician showed the President up, including Republicans.
7) Underneath It All, Some White Americans Think They’re Oppressed
This epic Twitter thread summed it up perfectly.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the killing of a 32-year-old woman and the injury of others by a vehicle at a rally in the city a “terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon.”
He made the comments in an interview Sunday with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Heather Heyer died when a car rammed into a group of people who were protesting the presence of white supremacists who had gathered in the city for a rally.
The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old who recently moved to Ohio from where he grew up in Kentucky, was charged with second-degree murder and other counts. Field’s mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn’t know it was a white supremacist rally.
“I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” said Bloom, who became visibly upset as she learned of the injuries and deaths at the rally.
“He had an African-American friend so ...,” she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she’d be surprised if her son’s views were that far right.
His arrest capped off hours of unrest. Hundreds of people threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays. Some came prepared for a fight, with body armor and helmets. Videos that ricocheted around the world on social media showed people beating each other with sticks and shields.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, both Democrats, lumped the blame squarely on the rancor that has seeped into American politics and the white supremacists who came from out of town into their city, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation.
“There is a very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics that we’ve all seen too much of today,” Signer said at a press conference. “Our opponents have become our enemies, debate has become intimidation.”