America has been challenged to think about the issue of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia just a couple of weeks ago and what we should do about it. If you have read the papers or any news on the internet or watched the news on TV or listened to the radio news, then you have heard of the riots or the encounter of two different groups of people who took the opportunity to use the excuse to protest the taking down of a Confederate statue but their real purpose was to display hatred and violent behavior. It was much more than taking down a statue. It really depends upon who you listen to on who is at fault here for the “riot” at Charlottesville that ended with many injuries and deaths, one young lady was killed when a car ran into the crowd she was in and then two Virginia Troops who were killed in a helicopter crash while keeping an eye out on the demonstrations. What tragic results of misguided, hateful and violent protesters.
If you read and listened to those who wrote and talked about this incident you will hear them say, there were groups of people who were protesting the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate General of Virginia; part of the protesting groups were “white supremacists”, Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and evidently according to the reports I have heard there were others who were not affiliated with any of these groups but were there because they were just against taking down the Confederate statue. There was to be a gathering in the park where the statue was but it seems that they were pushed out by the police to go elsewhere, close to where the other set of protesters happened to be. These people are described as “antifa” or anti-fascist protesters, who vocally and physically agitated against the far right groups of KKK, white supremacists and the neo-nazis and the fact that they were in Charlottesville to openly display their hatred. This group of protesters, the antifa, were identified by several media outlets as people who were students and those who were from outside of Virginia, many were identified as “antifa,” or anti-fascist. There were many others who came to protest racism, as it is represented by the extreme racists groups of KKK and white supremacists and the neo-nazis. Within this group that protested against extreme racists, there were some people who were masked and using profane language, even as the others in the far right group were pushing and shoving against them and using the profane language as well.
This was a mess of people who were from both sides of the protesting groups yelling, cursing, pushing, shoving and so much more. I could not tell that only one side seemed to be doing and saying inappropriate things, many of those from both sides of protesters were saying and doing things that were causing the crowd to get more violent. It is reported that one of the protesters, who was from the “altright, white supremacist” got in his car and ran into the demonstrators killing and injuring many, that was finally too much for the police. The police finally came to close it all down and disperse the protesters from both sides.
There was such hatred and vile behaviors from both sides of the protesting groups. We can see that it started with protest of the racist KKK, and the other “altright” groups, who stand for and spew out hatred for everyone who is not like them. Never do two wrongs make a right. The police force didn’t help the situation when they allowed the two groups to get so close to one another. The evil hatred was seen from both groups and no one was going to win and particularly the University of Virginia and the town Charlottesville. The rest of America has not fared well either and the tempers flair even more each time this is mentioned. Even when our President denounced several times the deployable people who were protesting on both sides, he was condemned because he didn’t say it just the way the media wanted him to say it or quick enough. If you listened clearly he denounced all who were causing trouble both left and right, but indicated that there were some people on boths sides that were not bad or seeking to cause trouble. That did not bode well again with the media who believes that everyone that day but those who were protesting the altright were all evil, even though I heard with my own ears from a report that there were some who came to protest the taking down of the state only and had nothing to do with the KKK, neo-nazis, or white supremacist. So the media doesn’t always get it right. Regardless the violent protests either in Charlottesville or anywhere else in America where there is ugly, violent, hate spilling, cursing, protesters should be shut down or moved to a place by law enforcement so no one or no property can be harmed in the process of the protest. And by all means they should keep the two protesting groups away from one another.
One of our brothers here at church has written a wonderful article about Charlottesville and I would like to quote some from an article by Robert Reeves.