Charlottesville, VA is a Stain on Race Relations

Many of us are trying to make sense of the events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA on Friday and Saturday.  It seems like the alt-right, neo-nazi, Ku Klux Klan supporters were upset that a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a Confederate hero, was to be removed from this area.  I guess it was one statue too many for these individuals.  The Confederates lost the civil war and should not have been able to continually erect statues to maintain slavery as a right and a way of life.  Dylan Roof's cold blooded murder nine church members at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

At the time of this heinous crime, Mr. Roof wanted to incite a race riot.  I am so happy that people who think like him did not take the bait and cause more bloodshed.  This event was one of many acts of violence against people of color in this country.  African American males were being murdered by police officers and these murders led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Terrence Crutcher, Jordan Edwards, Lamont Perry and Alton Sterling are names of the almost 320 black men killed by police since 2016.  One of my concerns is why an attempt to save our own lives angers the alt-right movement.

In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for the removal of four confederate statues from public spaces in 2015.  This action did not cause the furor that erupted in Virginia but it was important for the people of color living in New Orleans for these links to a racist past to be erased.  African Americans were considered property and lived in bondage for years before the civil war occurred.  The Charlottesville, VA city council voted 3 - 2 to remove the statue of Robert E, Lee in 2016 but we see what happened.  Heather Heyer was killed yesterday as an alt-right supporter drove a car into a group of anti-racism protesters who were walking away from the protest.  This is a page right out of the ISIS inspired attacks in London.  I am in utter disbelief that something like this can occur here in the U.S.

General Robert E. Lee was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War.  He was a son of a Revolutionary War hero and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.  He surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appmattox Court House on April 9th, 1965.  He did not want former slaves to vote.  He had an idealized version of slavery that did not take into mind the whippings, back breaking labor and utter degradation of the practice.  His aggressive tactics during the civil war led to high casualties at a time when the Confederacy was losing the war.  I guess the alt-right wants his statues to remain even though the way of life he fought for would have humans living as the property of others.

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The level of violence that was seen on television was disheartening.  The anger was real.  The alt-right members were marching with torches on Friday night.  They had shields, robes and confederate flags on Saturday.  David Duke, national leader of the Ku Klux Klan said that these groups were fulfilling the promises made to President Donald Trump during his campaign.  President Trump, who will call out radical Islamic terrorism at the drop of a dime, refused to condemn the racist activities of the marchers.  These are part of his followers that want to make America Great Again.  Sad.

Nazi supporters have no place in this country.  The genocide of Jews at the hands on Hitler and his followers should never be repeated.  The days of African Americans being hung from trees after the civil war and well in the 20th century can never happen again.  There are many people who are in critical condition today as a result of injuries suffered from being run over yesterday.  Two police officers died in a helicopter accident while observing these events.  Funerals have to be needlessly planned due to a willingness to hold on to a shameful part of our country's past.  I hope we can move forward and work together as Americans.  Donald Trump said the American carnage would be over during his acceptance speech.  He was wrong.  

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