White nationalists picked Charlottesville for a reason

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tags: racism, Charlottesville, Confederate Monuments, extreme right

The home of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has become a particularly quiet and progressive college town in recent years. In fact, 80 percent of the voters in the small city voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. So why would the left-leaning town, where roughly 47,000 people currently live, be chosen for white nationalist rally headed by the alt-right?

Charlottesville city council in April voted to remove a statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee, one of the last standing Confederate monuments in the state. The statue stands in a park that was also recently renamed from Lee Park to Emancipation Park. Although the removal of the statue is still pending litigation, white nationalists are opposing the decision in an effort to cling on to their white history.

White rights activist Jason Kessler, a Charlottesville resident who organized Saturday’s “Unite the Right” protest, blamed all "the anti-white hatred that's coming out of the city" as the reason for the rally, CNN reported....

The town, considered a community of the Jim Crow South back in the early 1900s, was the last in America to desegregate schools following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, which allowed black children to attend historically white-only schools. Despite ordering desegregation with “all deliberate speed,” in 1955, Virginia strongly resisted the ruling. Some schools even shut down in Charlottesville before finally allowing integration in 1958....

Virginia overall also has longstanding ties to the Ku Klux Klan. In a study released in 2015, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University discovered there had been more than 2,000 KKK klaverns established in the U.S. between 1915 and 1940, 132 of which had been spread across the state of Virginia.

Read entire article at Newsweek

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