The Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville to protest the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue from Emancipation Park quickly turned deadly. One person was killed and 26 injured after a gray Dodge Charger rammed into the a crowd of anti-protesters at a high rate of speed. The person was taken into custody and was later identified as James Alex Fields, Jr. of Maumee, Ohio:
The suspect being held in a Virginia jail in connection with a deadly crash near a scheduled rally of white nationalists has been identified as James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail .
Fields is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.
Fields is held on suspicion of malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. Given the high rate of speed Fields was driving at and the large crowd he rammed into, many onlookers assumed the act was done on purpose. Similar incidences around the globe have been quickly condemned as acts of terrorisms, particularly by President Trump. However, the President’s words were more measured when condemning the Alt-Right or Fields’ act of cowardice.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Weighs In
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe called for a state of emergency earlier in the day after the protesters turned violent. He sent a strong message to the white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville over the weekend to stoke violence and to hurt people. He told them to “go home” and “you are not wanted in this great Commonwealth.”
McAuliffe also called on President Trump to tamp down the incendiary rhetoric that has been driving our country apart since the presidential elections. McAuliffe reached out to the President to help bring the country together, but the hate speech needed to stop.
What began as a weekend of grown men carrying torches and playing dress up in combat gear in order to intimidate people, has now turned into a fiasco. The Alt-Right has been engaging in incendiary rhetoric via Steve Bannon’s breitbart.com. Now that white supremacists have finally created bloodshed, let’s see how eager they are to stand behind their actions. In addition to the person killed by Alex Fields, Jr. two others lost their lives when a police state helicopter monitoring the protests crashed in a wooded field outside of Charlottesville. Now the three people have lost their lives the question remains, “What was it all for?”
Whether or not Robert E. Lee’s statue will be removed from Emancipation Park has still not been resolved. Removal or not, Robert E. Lee is start a major part of Virginia history. While countless energy has been expended by the Alt-Right and the anti-protesters, how many people actually know who Robert E. Lee was, what he stood for, and why his final defeat at High Bridge in my home town of Prince Edward County was so significant?