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Charlottesville, Virginia August 2017

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  • Charlottesville, Virginia August 2017

    Glen B Smith
    To:Lou Newton

    Aug 15 at 8:18 PM

    Dateline: Charlottesville, Virginia August 2017

    PBS has broadcast a documentary of the months before and the events of August 2017.

    The events: Unite the Right rally - The so-called white nationalist, neo nazis, and white supremist rallied on UVA campus the evening of August 11 and the morning of August 12 at a downtown park where there is a confederate statue.

    The mayor of Charlottesville had encouraged everyone to stay home and not give the white nationalist the publicity or the opposition they desired.

    The white nationalist had a city permit for the rally on August 12.

    Notes of interest:

    The neo-nazis and white supremist chanted against Jews taking over America not against blacks. However, the stated aim of the leader is to start a race war.

    The counter-protesters were mostly white and overwhelming so on August 12. The documentary interviewed one black student stating she was Jewish. I think a professor on the night of August 11 was Jewish. Other blacks were interviewed. The number of blacks in the crowd were observably less than 20% although downtown Charlottesville is about 80% black.

    Due to bad publicity a week earlier, the police positioned themselves where they were ineffective. If the opposition had stayed away I believe the police would have kept the demonstration under control.

    The hostilities were instigated by both sides. It was apparent the neo-nazis and white supremist were attempting to instigate an attack from the counter-protesters and the they seemed anxious to comply. Some in the counter-protesters instigated some of the violence. It appeared the instigation of the incidences of violence were about the same for both sides..

    Both sides used hate speech and gestures to express their intent. The gestures and verbal confrontations on both sides were meant to instigate violence. Just because one agrees with one side or the other does not change what was presented in the documentary.

    A close friends of the girl who died, Heather Heyer, was still ranting about her rights and what she did was right in her own mind at the time the documentary was made in 2018. There seemed to be no grief over the death of her friend and the role she had in encouraging a counter-protest. The girl who died was a social activist.

    The speech the next day by President Trump laid blame to both sides for the violence. He has been highly criticized for not laying all the blame on the white nationalist and neo-nazis. Accordingly, he has been labeled as a supporter of white nationalist. Listening to his speech it is evident he seems to struggle with getting the facts accurate while knowing the media will attack him for his factual statement. He would have been better off to have laid all the blame on the white nationalist, and it seems he knew that at the time.

    For me this seems a factual evaluation of President trump's response. Whether or not the rest of his rhetoric supports white nationalist is another issue.

    Apart from the auto being driven into the crowd of the white nationalist opposition, this incident might have died without much notice. It seems to me if the opposition had stayed away the local news would have briefly covered it. To gain publicity the white nationalist would have had to start destroying property and the police could have arrested the perpetrators. The counter-protest was every bit as intent upon exercising what they believed to be their rights as were the other side. It was an ideological confrontation. One side had a permit, the other side did not.

    Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right, organized another rally a year afterwards in Washington D. C. Thirty supporters of the Unite the Right attended. He confessed the rally was a failure.

    After thought: A documentaries will vary in it unbiased reporting of the facts. Producers are subject to the things they favor. However, since this was broadcast on PBS, if the documentary leaned one way or the other it would probably be in favor of the counter- protesters. The documentary showed the Charlottesville's police department in a bad light, but described the decisions made by the head of the state troopers as completely unjustifiable. Some Charlottesville's police officers laid their poor performance on the decisions of the police chief.

    What surprised me most was the verbal chanting against Jews. I suppose living in Texas isolates me from serious anti-Semitism.