Charlottesville 2017- Cameron McKeon

The mounting anger and tension that Confederate statues had on people made them demand orders to have these be taken down. It went so far that there was an attack planned in Charlottesville by white nationalists in 2017. This was planned due to the long-discussed decision by officials and members of the commission that the Lee and Jackson statues did represent white supremacy. They had to choose whether to remove the statues to a site that accurately portrayed the history or somehow transform the statue to better represent its historical background. The Lee statue was eventually voted to be removed, but the Jackson statue would remain where it was to honor and reflect its history. This did not sit well with the white supremacists as they planned to riot and mob the city in protest. That was followed by the deaths of people who were hit by a car going right into the group of protesters.

The library that Holsinger has is very different in its view of history when compared to the statues that go back to the same timeframe. The collection shows African American citizens in Charlottesville as just individuals and not a group. They were produced by African Americans and let them control how they wanted to be represented. These portraits show modern day Charlottesville and what it has to offer, but the problem is that the past is often not getting much attention. Today, there is still not a true understanding of what happened that fateful day in Charlottesville.

Now, the event that unfolded in August 2017 was by no means an accident or impromptu. Racism and antisemitism are what made the white supremacists organize this riot. The Confederate flag and Nazi swastikas were heavily seen and the idea of hatred towards others was seen in this event as well. Everyone wanted one race to rule all the other ones and that also fueled this white supremacists. No one in this group wanted multiple races ruling because they saw this as immoral. It is very important to talk about and realize the unfortunate history of this event and why there was so much hate that drove it to a breaking point literally and figuratively.

These riots that happened on August 11th and 12th caused the community of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia to reflect on the future that lay ahead of them. The community within the school and the school itself brought its own relationship into the debate room. They wanted to set a standard that any behavior that happened in Charlottesville were to happen within the UVA community, then UVA wanted to make sure they could properly take the correct steps to avoid violent situations from happening. What happened in Charlottesville can be used as a leading example to build an environment that is welcoming and includes everyone within the area rather than separate and leave everyone feel isolated. Building an inclusive environment is key for any area of a community to build a friendly bond and trust in one another. If you have what happened to Charlottesville in 2017 in your area, then you will have people that will intentionally target others either to prove a point or harm someone to get a message across. Violence as they say is never the answer.

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