On Saturday night, a group of 40-50 white supremacists returned to Charlottesville, VA, led by Neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer, who helped plan the first gathering at the Robert E. Lee statue.
This reemergence comes less than two months after thousands of white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville back in August for a Unite the Right rally. During the summertime rally, the large gathering of Neo-Nazis spent hours chanting white power slogans and inciting violence against counter protesters. That ugly day in August took the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer after a white nationalist crashed a car into anti-racist protesters.
Needless to say, the return to Charlottesville is a profoundly depraved move.
Spencer posted a video of the gathering on Twitter (which I won't link here because he doesn't deserve more clicks), and dubbed the gathering "Charlottesville 3.0" despite the middling turnout.
During the brief gathering Saturday, Spencer and his followers continued the ugly spirit of Unite The Right by carrying tiki torches and chanting "You will not replace us."
At one point, Spencer gave a speech to his followers that criticized the Charlottesville community, claiming they lacked true community. According to his speech, his "Identitarian" (Neo-Nazi) gang is the only true community.
Once word spread of the white supremacist gathering, cop cars arrived to guard the area and a small assemblage of students gathered in counter protest.
According to Charlottesville police, the white supremacist gathering dissipated after roughly ten minutes, at which point the group piled into a van and drove away. This gathering seemed to be centered around Spencer's speech, and the repeating of a few chants.
Before leaving the park Spencer and his followers loudly threatened "we'll be back," and made it clear that Charlottesville, and any conscience bearing American, shouldn't sit back and relax if they want these outbursts of hatred to stop.
In response, the Lt. Governor Ralph Northam quickly released a statement condemning the gathering of white supremacists.
“There is no home, no place, and no safe harbor in the country I pledged to defend for the ugly hatred we saw in Charlottesville tonight. I don’t see two sides or very fine people gathered here and anyone unwilling to call out this evil fails our commonwealth. Donald Trump’s equivocation enabled this to happen again, and Ed Gillespie failed to call on the leader of his party to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists. There can be no ambiguity from any elected official: white supremacists are not welcome, and they will not win.”
This re-emergence serves as a dark and sobering reminder that these racists won't disappear on their own.
We have to stay louder than them.