Charlottesville 2017

Charlottesville 2017 is a series of letters written by faculty at the University of Virginia about their experience and thoughts on the riots on that infamous day in Charlottesville. Before that however, the author wrote about the historical context of both the Robert E. Lee statue and Stonewall Jackson monument, especially since both structures on whether or not they should be public landmarks (side note: this is not to undermine the fact that this was more importantly for white supremacist using the opportunity to flaunt political power and to oppress minorities through numbers and violence). In the first letter, written by John Edwin Mason (who was also apart of the blue ribbon commission and helped with the decision making earlier that year), He mainly talked about his guilt what transpired during the dreadful day. Especially when the white supremacist came, as he would literally call them evil. The second letter was written by Asher D. Biemann. In his piece, he talks about the various forms of hate that the “unite the right” demonstration expressed. Biemann expressed that these groups expressed antisemitism and antiblackness (also homophobia I might add) while at the same time, victimizing themselves and platforming themselves as “saviors” These fascist use that mindset to oppress other people that don’t look like them. The third section, written by Bonnie Gordon, wrote about the music that was played during the riots. her main focus was about the song ‘Dixie’ and other songs in the UVA songbook that historically uphold white supremacy. Her conclusion was that music isn’t enough to help to heal people after tragedies. The last piece was written by Guian Mckee. In this piece, they talk about the history and role that UVA plays in Charlottesville, as they have also played a role in white supremacy as it was built on a historically black neighborhood and then doesn’t even pay taxes to the community.

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