Tragedy in Charlottesville, VA

There were absolutely terrible scenes in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, as neo-nazis and white supremacists gathered in the town to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a confederacy general during the time of the American Civil War.

The planned ‘Unite the Right’ march was the culmination of several protests by far-right groups, including the KKK, American Freedom Party and National Socialists amongst others. The event was cancelled and a state of emergency declared.

Counter protestors were subjected to violence and one man, James Fields, a far-right supporter from Ohio, drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protestors, killing Heather Hayer, a 32 year-old legal assistance and injuring 19 other people.

Show Racism the Red Card send sincere condolences to Heather’s family and good wishes to all those injured.

Donald Trump has come under criticism for failing to specifically condemn the actions of the far-right groups, some of whom were chanting ‘Hail Trump’ during their protest.

Trump said on Saturday, "we condemn, in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides".

The ‘many sides’ comment seemed to be evasive for many observers, particularly as the violence at the event seemed to come from the far-right groups. He also failed to describe this attack as terrorism.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner tweeted: "Mr President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."  

 

Many media outlets have covered the story and the Guardian’s editorial today highlight’s the issue of the president not specifically criticising white supremacists.

SRtRC believes that extremism of all forms should be condemned. In the UK, terrorism is defined as ‘The use or threat of action is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause’. It seems clear that this horrific act was terrorism.

Neo-nazis and white supremacists have no place in the 21st Century. Adherents to their cause, believe in inequality based on prejudice. They believe that white people are ‘superior’ to others, just because of their skin colour.