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Violence in Virginia

Violent rallys erupt in a Virginia town.

A+group+of+protesters+in+Charlottesville%2C+Virginia.
A group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

abcnews.go.com

abcnews.go.com

A group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Marissa White, Photography Editor

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Chaos erupted in Virginia on August 12, 2017. Recently, there have been violent protests occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia. The main point of the riots surround the statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate General that led the south in the Civil War. ‘White Supremacists’ are defending the statues against those who want to tear the monument down.

The protests recently turned deadly after Alex Fields, Jr. plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring many more in the process. Fields was charged with second-degree murder.

President Donald Trump has made statements on the situation, stating that “many sides” were to blame for the acts of violence. The President then goes on to condemn the group of ‘white supremacists’, claiming the violent acts and hatred “has no place in America”.

The Presidents comments about the sides to blame did not go well with others. People felt Trump did not respond the appropriate way, claiming that he was wrong for not calling out the white supremacists for who they “really are”. Paul Ryan recently stated that the president was wrong for comparing the white supremacists and neo-Nazi to the counter protesters, and that he did not support his comment about the “very fine people” who participated in the rallys, according to Washington Post.

“It’s disgusting,” student Teri Walthour said regarding the events occurring. “The fact that our president doesn’t… say anything about this is beyond me. It makes me believe that the president doesn’t care about these events that are impactful to our community and country.”

Teri said that even though these events are terrible to read about, she’s trying not to let it affect her because slavery is in the past. “The confederacy is still real but the criminal justice system is set so that we aren’t in slavery anymore.”

Following Trumps comment on the issue, counter-protesters held a candle-lit vigil on August 15th for the woman, Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville.  Outside of the Trump Tower, the crowd even including celebrities like actor Mark Ruffalo and filmmaker Michael Moore. The two led the vigil and the rally that was held to show that they were against the presidents comment about how many sides were to blame.

“We want him to know that an American killed on American soil by a Nazi is not acceptable. There is no equivalence, there’s no ‘many sides,'” Ruffalo recently stated in a video posted on Instagram. “We can’t allow Nazis to be a normal pat of our society. We have to fight.”

Even though most people are disagreeing with Donald Trumps comments, there are still many people who agree with what he states. According to CBS News, based on an anonymous poll by telephone, 67% of Republicans, 10% Democrats, and 32% Independents agree with the way that the president handled the situation in Virginia. Republicans believe that Trump is “assigning blame accurately in the matter.” Journalism teacher Mrs. Trecida said that as she watched the coverage over the days following the Charlottesville rally, she felt like the media portratyed Trump’s comments incorrectly. “I read a lot news reports that pulled Trump’s comments out of context. If you only read the news, it said that he called the white supremacist protesters ‘fine people’. But if you read the entire interview you realize that’s not what he said at all,” she said. Mrs. Trecida agrees that there were people involved in the counter protest that did come out with the intention of violence. But, she said, “It’s crazy that this was even an issue to begin with…white supremacists and neo nazis have no place in the United States of America.”

Though the Charlottesville situation seems to be in the past, more problems similar to this continue to occur, not only in the United States, but all over the world. It seems as though this problem won’t be going away for a while.

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The student news site of Howard W. Blake High School in Tampa, Florida
Violence in Virginia