Charlottesville 2017

This book is a collection of pieces written by faculty at the University of Virginia about the protests and riots that occurred in August 2017. The first one was written by John Edwin Mason. I thought that it was really cool that he was a part of the blue ribbon commission that helped the city make a decision on the statues earlier in the year. It was really interesting reading things from his point of view. Throughout his chapter it seems like he feels guilty about what happened. I enjoyed looking at the artwork by Holsigner that was included at the end of the chapter.
The next chapter was about antisemitism and it was written by Asher D. Biemann. He makes really interesting points about the antisemitism displayed in the unite the right rallies. They were not hiding the hate, and antisemitism along with antiblack racism is the basis of their ideas. I thought his point about antisemites make themselves victims while also portraying themselves as the saviors was interesting and I hadn’t thought of it before, but it made a lot of sense.
The third section that we read was about music and was written by Bonnie Gordon. In this section she talks about how music played into the rallies in August 2017 and the part it played in the healing process. Songs like Dixie and even some songs in the UVA songbook have historically played into white supremacy. Dixie was sung during the unite the right rally by the white supremacists. She also talks about how music isn’t enough to help people heal after tragedies.
The last section talks about UVA’s role in the Charlottesville community and is written by Guian Mckee. Before reading this I didn’t know that college’s did not necessarily pay taxes to the community. I also didn’t know that UVA had taken land that was a historically Black neighborhood. The section ends with suggestions that UVA could do to help the community.
Overall I think that it was interesting to read about the rallies from faculty at UVA. I learned a lot about the events of August 11 and 12 2017.

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