Charlottesville 2017

The first article offers an overview and traces a through line starting with a highschooler who started a petition in 2016 to get the Robert E. Lee statue removed. Over the course of a year, white supremacist groups and other racially motivated groups became aware and very involved in this petition going to the Charlottesville City Council. The removal of statues became a hot topic and a highly contested one throughout the community. It spurred larger discussions about free speech and other rights protected by the Constitution. The article goes into the history and controversy that always has surrounded the Stonewall Jackson monument and the Robert E. Lee statue. The second article is written by an individual who was on the city’s Blue Ribbon Commission. The Commission advised the city to remove the two statues and the article discusses the various reasons for their decision. It also includes the city’s options that the commission suggested, the first being the basic removal and relocation of the statue, then the second would be the same, with the added complete reimagining of the statues and including interpretive text to provide context of the Jim Crow era. The author contemplates his role in the riots and explains his actions on the days of the protest. The rest of the second article discusses similar issues, both in Virginia history, as well as modern day. The third article discusses the basis of antisemitism and the origins of blood purity and its effects. It ties together the events in 2017 to the emotions and hatred that fuel antisemitism. It offers a deep dive into human emotions and how they contradict logic and reason. This article ends with how history can inform and show us how antisemitism has developed over time. The next article is written by a Jewish individual who witnessed the riot. She discusses the chants and songs used by the protesters, many promoting ethnic cleansing and other anti semitic views. She also gives background context to the major event in August, by including other previous protests that happened at UVA both before and after the major one. She analyzes the songs and the history of Jewish people associated with UVA and how they have faced antisemitism in the past. The final article discusses the event itself and the aftermath of August 2017, specifically how the institution of UVA reacted to the riot. The author discusses the importance of UVA’s reaction to this and how they can learn from Johns Hopkins’ approach to their relationship with the greater Baltimore area and community. The article breaks down the role of universities in their communities into subsections, starting with taxes, local government, and overall social responsibility. This talks about the economics of the university and how if they were not tax exempt, the millions of dollars from the university would go to local infrastructure and city maintenance, which the university would benefit from. The second section discusses the growth and university expansion, which has displaced locals and has harmed the local housing market and homelessness issues in the city and the surrounding areas. The next subsection discusses the job market and how wages in Charlottesville, specifically within the university, are not livable. It mentions the high turnover rate and the burnout many employees experience, including students and staff members. The article ends with recommendations to how UVA can better serve the community and do better with their social responsibilities. These include encouraging students to take part in the improvement and implementation of the listed suggestions and how UVA can become a leader for universities to become more socially responsible and connected with the local community.

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