By now, you probably heard about the incident that happened over the weekend in Charlottesville. If you are overwhelmed by the amount of news reported and you'd prefer something that is easier to digest, or if you want to catch up on the Charlottesville incident, here’s an overview.
On Saturday, a white nationalist group gathered under the banner "Unite the Right" and marched into Charlottesville. Somewhere in the town, they were met with counter-protesters. At first, there was a lot of taunting. Then, things escalated into a brawl. By 1:45 pm, a car plowed through the group of counter-protesters.
The incident left one person dead. Her name was Heather D. Heyer, a 32-year old paralegal. According to Heyer’s friends, she was a very passionate advocate for disenfranchising and was easily moved to tears if in the midst of injustices.
Aside from Heyer, 19 other people were injured because of the incident; some of them are in critical condition. In total, there were 34 injured protesters and counter-protesters.
After several skirmishes, the governor of Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, declared a "state of emergency."
According to the officials, they have identified the driver of the car that plowed through the counter-protesters. The suspect's name is James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year old native of Maumee Ohio (a city near Toledo). According to a Fields’ former history teacher, he was a bright kid but very disillusioned and misguided. The history teacher also noted that Fields wrote a report that was in the lines of the neo-nazi movement's ideology.
White House Response
On Saturday afternoon, President Trump came out and condemned the display of violence, bigotry, and hatred on all sides. It's worth mentioning that Trump did not single out the neo-nazis or white nationalists. When the White House was pressed about the neo-nazi issue, a White House spokesman simply reiterated that the President is condemning the horrific actions of the protesters and counter-protesters.
Thomas P. Bossert, the homeland security adviser to the White House, commented that the President did not name anybody as he does not want to dignify any groups from the said incident.
On the other hand, Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter, was more explicit when it came to the incident. Ivanka tweeted that neo-nazis, white supremacy, and racism should have no place in any society.
On Sunday, Charlottesville started to point out who to blame. Both protesters and counter-protesters criticized the law enforcement's response during the Saturday's clash, claiming that the police should have done more to stop the situation from escalating.
Governor McAuliffe rejected such criticism, stating that even though the crowd went violent, not a single shot was fired. The car attack was something that no one could prevent he said.
The Saturday rally was only the peak of the incident. White nationalists had a march carrying torches, anti-semitic slogans, and chanting racist phrases.
One of the supporters admitted in an interview that they were only fulfilling Trump’s promises. The President did not give any indication of distancing or siding with any of the sides.