Mitesh Rai

    OPINION: Charlottesville on my mind

    by , September, 2017

    There comes a time when we are forced to face our deep­est, dark­est fears. And it is dur­ing these times that the true nature of our being presents itself. For me, that time came on August 11, with the spec­tre of white nation­al­ists march­ing with torch­lights on the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia campus.

    They had fore­gone the pointed white hoods of their fore­bear­ers. Instead, they proudly bared their faces and clenched their fists. I could tell they had raged among them­selves in their “safe space” of the inter­net for far too long. Not anymore.

    The clar­ion call of ‘now or never’ had been rung by their lead­ers, Richard Spencer and David Duke. It was time for them to stand up and defend their ver­sion of the United States of Amer­ica — red-​blooded, white-​skinned and blue-​eyed.

    Their chant of “White Lives Mat­ter” was heard around the world when they marched. It was met on cam­pus by stu­dents in a counter-​protest. Heated argu­ments led to push­ing and shov­ing, kicks and punches, clouds of pep­per spray.

    Their march con­tin­ued through down­town Char­lottesville the fol­low­ing day. The vio­lence esca­lated. Heather Heyer, a Char­lottesville para­le­gal, was there to stand up to hate and dis­crim­i­na­tion. A white nation­al­ist plowed into the crowd of counter-​protesters and killed her.

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