The victim of the terrorist car attack has been identified as 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a paralegal working for the Miller Law Group in Charlottesville and a native of Greene County, Virginia. She died standing up for what was right. And make no mistake, this was an act of terrorism. Unbelievably, I made that point on an internet forum, which I shall not name, and a moderator deleted that part of my comment, claiming it was modern politics, when in fact it was definitely an act of terrorism, as the President’s National Security Adviser told us. As General McMaster said, “What terrorism is, is the use of violence to incite terror and fear, and of course it was terrorism.”
The two Virginia State Police officers killed in the crash of a state police helicopter while they were monitoring the terrorists as they rallied have also been identified. They are Lt. H. Jay Cullen, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia.
We have an eyewitness account of some of the domestic terrorism perpetrated by supporters of confederate monuments in Charlottesville this weekend: “There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.” Police stood by and didn’t interfere, though it’s early at this stage to effectively analyze their tactics.
In another eyewitness account, some proconfederate terrorists attacked a black man with poles in a Charlottesville parking garage. 20-year-old Deandre Harris survived the attack due to the intervention of some friends.
We know a little more about the alleged terrorist who allegedly mowed down a crowd with his vehicle. He moved to Ohio from his home in Kentucky. His mother expressed surprise, didn’t know he was a white supremacist terrorist, and said, “He had an African-American friend, so … ” She also said “I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a supremacist.” According to his high school history teacher, “It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler. He had white supremacist views. He really believed in that stuff.”
We’re learning more about the proconfederate terrorist groups gathered in Charlottesville this weekend, as well as learning more about what happened. “Oren Segal, who directs the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said multiple white power groups gathered in Charlottesville, including members of neo-Nazi organizations, racist skinheads and KKK factions. The white nationalist organizations Vanguard America and Identity Evropa; the Southern nationalist League of the South; the National Socialist Movement; the Traditionalist Workers Party; and the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights also were on hand, he said. ‘We anticipated this event being the largest white supremacist gathering in over a decade,’ Segal said. ‘Unfortunately, it appears to have become the most violent as well.’ ”
Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency and had a message for the proconfederate terrorists: “Our message is plain and simple — go home,” he said. “You are not wanted in this great Commonwealth. Shame on you! You pretend that you’re patriots – but you are anything but a patriot.”
For more information on the Lee statue at the center of all the activity, see here.
Kevin Levin believes this weekend will be a turning point in the confederate monument debate, with the terrorist James Fields doing for confederate monuments what the terrorist Dylann Roof did for the confederate battle flag. He may have a point. In Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Jim Gray announced, “I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens. The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.”
Also on Saturday, two groups held rallies to support and oppose proposals to move a 118-year-old confederate monument in San Antonio, Texas. It remains to be seen what effect the proconfederate white supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville will have on that situation. In announcing their secession in 1861, the State of Texas declared, unequivocally, “We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.”
Many folks of good hearts support confederate monuments because they believe they represent history and a heritage of pride in their ancestors. One Virginian begs to differ: “The South lost the war. Over a century later, we’re still fighting one—but it has nothing to do with states’ rights or Southern pride. It is about racism, intolerance, and hatred. And at the center of it all are symbols that, despite the well-intended Southern narratives that have failed to reframe them as anything else, are the strongest representation of racism in our country’s history.” For those folks of good hearts who still support confederate monuments, I have to ask, do you see with whom you are aligning yourself? The fact is, those terrorists have a better grasp on what confederate iconography means than you good folks have.
As to the charge that taking down confederate monuments, if that’s what local people wish to do, “erases history,” here’s the United States Army erasing some history:
Think about it.