Monday, January 20, 2020
US flag

U.Va. and Charlottesville, Va., in state of emergency

One person was killed and about 20 others injured this morning as a car mowed down a group of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the New York Times reports.

Embed from Getty Images

Gov Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency, and the University of Virginia cancelled several programs, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. A statue of Robert E Lee still stands in Emancipation Park, despite a year and a half having passed since an African-American high school student started a petition to have it removed. The cancelled programs were aimed at keeping things peaceful, but I guess that ship sailed a long time ago.

A few facts are undisputed:

  1. Nazi Germany was an enemy of the US during World War II (ca. 1945).
  2. The Confederacy was an enemy of the US during the Civil War (ca. 1865).
  3. Both Nazi Germany and the Confederacy were defeated by the US.
  4. Support for either the Confederacy or Nazi Germany is unpatriotic.

What happened this morning was that as protests and demonstrations were going on around Charlottesville, street fights erupted and turned into outright brawls. After one of the skirmishes was disbursed, a car with Ohio license plates came barreling into the crowd near a mall, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring the others. A video of the crash appears to indicate an intentional motive to kill people on the part of the driver.

James Alex Fields Jr, a 20-year-old from Maumee, Ohio, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death, but authorities declined to say if he was the driver of the car.

It is someone’s right to keep saying the South will rise again or the Confederacy is worth reviving or that Nazis are right. History tells us otherwise, but if people wish to continue wasting their breath to speak those words and our time to listen to them, fine. But the killing needs to stop.

For his part, President Donald Trump, whose election may have emboldened the kind of racism shown at U.Va. and in Charlottesville today, condemned the violence, both on Twitter and in public statements. His words were mild and didn’t make direct reference to white supremacy, but I don’t think anyone expected him to condemn the root cause here.

I know, however, that while his election may have brought these racists out of the woodwork, or the crawl space, they were here long before Mr Trump became president and they will be here long after he has moved onto his next challenge.

Part of me understands some of you may not want to let go of something you believe is your birthright. You look out and see your nation filling up with greater and greater diversity. But if that’s what you believe, especially if you believe you shouldn’t have to compete for jobs, for wealth, for anything, then your beliefs are inconsistent with the facts.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.