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Charlottesville violence reflects Trump America

7 24 0

I did my doctorate at the University of Virginia and used to sit reading books where on Friday people with torches held a KKK-style rally, replete with racist and Nazi slogans. In case you have a short memory, this is what I'm talking about.

Ku Klux Klan-like rally on the campus of the University of Virginia

These scenes took place on the central campus quadrangle that people at UVA, with charming Southern understatement, simply call The Lawn. The building in the background is the Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson - the university founder, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States .

DW's Jefferson Chase

"Mister Jefferson,” as folks in Charlottesville still call the patron of the university and their city, was a complex figure. He was a slave owner who thought that slavery was a temporarily necessary moral evil. Yet he still wrote the words: "All men are created equal.”

So it particularly turned my stomach to see Jefferson's university and ideas verbally defecated upon by people of no moral or intellectual complexity whatever, by fanatics whose only outlet for an aggression they don't even understand is hatred of those who seem different. Anyone else feel reminded of 9/11?

"We in America do not have government by the majority,” Jefferson once wrote. "We have government by the majority who participate.” Except that America doesn't have that right now. The events in Charlottesville this weekend are another example of the right wing's desire to overrule the wishes of the majority.

What motivated people from outside Charlottesville to descend upon a college town to defend democracy by carrying Nazi flags and, at least in one case it seems, by driving a car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators and killing a woman?


© Deutsche Welle