While there was much agreement expressed by the 45 interfaith clergy members who attended Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) Aug. 31 meeting on how to unite the community after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., there was also dissent.
While united against President Donald J. Trump’s statement equating white nationalists with the counter protesters at the Virginia rally last month, those attending the 90-minute discussion in Rockville also complained about conditions for their individual communities.
“Why, all of a sudden, does it take one person, one white person, to die, to forget all about the other 19 who were injured,” asked Bishop Paul Walker, of HYOP Life Skills Reentry Program. The death of an African-American doesn’t rile up the community the way the killing of a white person does, he said.
Matthew Heimbach grew up in MoCo and helped organize the march in Charlottesville
Matthew Heimbach, the chairman of the Traditionalist Workers Party (a white nationalist organization), claimed he watched as anti-fascist counter-protesters showered his followers in bleach and urine in Charlottesville, Va. on Friday. His group was in Charlottesville as part of the “Unite the Right” rally that brought together dozens of alt-right groups together to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee Statue from Emancipation Park.
Heimbach, who helped organized the rally said the city government was to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
Raised locally, Heimbach attended Poolesville High School where he said he attempted to create a white student group.
“I got several hundred students to sign on to my paper to do it. The principal trashed it. I emailed every teacher to get a sponsor none of them responded; it must have been an administrative decision,” he said of his efforts.
I walked through the deserted streets of Charlottesville Saturday afternoon thinking of Baltimore and Ferguson in the aftermath of riots there as well as the empty streets of Kuwait City in the aftermath of its liberation during the Gulf War.
Chaos, then a nervous calm and finally reflection followed each experience.
Lost in the chaos in the aftermath of the riot in Charlottesville was the news that North Korea had decided to step back from the brink.
It is perhaps the greatest victory of the Trump era and no one was talking about it – including the President of the United States – who in a raucous exchange with the press at Trump Tower Tuesday seemingly defended Alt-Right demonstrators and other white supremacists who sparked violence Saturday near the campus of the University of Virginia.