Monday News: Lights in the dark

CANDLELIGHT VIGILS MOURN VICTIMS OF HATRED AND BIGOTRY IN CHARLOTTESVILLE: A candlelight vigil is planned for Monday night in Raleigh to remember the people who were injured and killed during a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Raleigh vigil comes a day after other towns, such as Durham and Cary, held similar gatherings. In Cary, local churches organized a vigil at Good Shephard United Church of Christ. Organizers said they want to show unity in the face of hateful actions in Charlottesville where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after being hit by a car that was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters. Several hundred people gathered in Durham, too, to take a stand against hatred, organizers said. The Raleigh vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens.
http://www.wral.com/candlelight-vigil-to-remember-charlottesville-victims-planned-in-raleigh/16878876/

VIGIL HELD IN SAXAPAHAW'S HAW RIVER BALLROOM: Members from the local Onward and NAACP chapters held the vigil at the Haw River Ballroom, while other vigils were held throughout the state and across the country. “I did wake up this morning and said, ‘I don’t want to go to Orange County. I don’t want to go to Guilford County. I want to have something in our county, in Alamance County,’” said Elaine Berry, an organizer for Onward. “We don’t believe that there is a place for racism in Alamance County. We are standing up to say that ... we don’t think there is any place for that here. This is our solidarity with them [Charlottesville] in a peaceful vigil just to say, ‘We stand with you. We don’t think that there is any reason to fight each other, but we just think that what is right is right. No man is better than any other man in our eyes.’ We are here to support our neighbors, our black and white neighbors, and say, ‘We need to live together in peace and not against each other.’”
http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/20170813/vigil-held-in-saxapahaw-for-charlottesville-va-victims

WHITE HOUSE HAS TO ISSUE CLARIFICATION AFTER TRUMP'S AMBIGUOUS STATEMENTS: The White House said in a statement Sunday that when President Donald Trump condemned “all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred” that were on display in Charlottesville this weekend “of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.” The White House’s clarification stopped far short of what a growing number of Republicans have urged the president to do: directly call out and condemn white supremacy. And three of Trump’s top advisers appeared on Sunday morning news shows to defend the vague statement that the president delivered the previous afternoon at his private golf club in New Jersey, although their messaging shifted as the morning progressed. Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and a top adviser, broke with her father’s messaging Sunday morning to tweet: “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article166983442.html

CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACKER WAS OBSESSED WITH HITLER AND NAZISM IN HIGH SCHOOL: The young man accused of plowing a car into a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist rally was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler, and had been singled out by school officials in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race, a former high school teacher said Sunday. James Alex Fields Jr. also confided that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was younger and had been prescribed an anti-psychotic medication, Derek Weimer said in an interview with The Associated Press. In high school, Fields was an "average" student, but with a keen interest in military history, Hitler, and Nazi Germany, said Weimer, who said he was Fields' social studies teacher at Randall K. Cooper high school in Union, Kentucky, in Fields' junior and senior years. "Once you talked to James for a while, you would start to see that sympathy towards Nazism, that idolization of Hitler, that belief in white supremacy," Weimer said. "It would start to creep out."
http://www.wral.com/man-accused-of-ramming-protesters-pictured-with-racist-group/16878237/

IN SEPARATE CHARLOTTESVILLE INCIDENT, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BEATEN BY SEVERAL WHITE SUPREMACISTS WITHIN VIEW OF POLICE: Harris, a hip-hop artist and assistant special education teacher at a high school, said he did not know why the marchers singled him out, though he had tied a white towel around his neck on which he had scrawled epithets directed at the Ku Klux Klan and police. As he fled into a nearby parking garage, the men caught up with him, hitting with their fists and wooden poles. But a group of police officers who were only a few yards away when the fight broke out did not attempt to break it up, according to Harris and another eyewitness. “They were trying to kill me out there,” Harris recalled. “The police didn’t budge, and I was getting beat to a pulp.” In the garage, Harris fell against the garage entrance gate, snapping off the wooden arm and dropped to the ground. One of the marchers picked up the board and started hitting Harris with it, while others surrounded him and continued to pummel him with blows, video of the attack shows.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-charlottesville-beating-20170813-story.html

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Another single-issue edition

While we try to always cover a wide range of political and governmental issues here, sometimes things happen that eclipse all others. The traumatic events in Charlottesville have left many grasping for answers, and we won't get those answers if we turn away and try to forget.

Good round-up

Here in Chapel Hill, the perennial question of Silent Sam is raising itself for consideration.

Silent Sam is a statue memorializing the confederacy on behalf of the Daughters of the Confederacy. This is what is inscribed on it, from NCPedia.

http://www.ncpedia.org/monument/memorial-civil-war

Inscription left:

ERECTED UNDER THE AUSPICES / OF THE / NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION / OF THE UNITED DAUGHTERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY / AIDED BY THE ALUMNI OF / THE UNIVERSITY

Inscription right:

TO THE SONS OF THE UNIVERSITY
WHO ENTERED THE WAR OF 1861 - 65
IN ANSWER TO THE CALL OF THEIR
COUNTRY AND WHOSE LIVES
TAUGHT THE LESSON OF
THEIR GREAT COMMANDER THAT
DUTY IS THE SUBLIMEST WORD
IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

_________________________________________________

The words "WHO ENTERED THE WAR OF 1861 - 65 / IN ANSWER TO THE CALL OF THEIR / COUNTRY" give pause.

"THE CALL OF THEIR / COUNTRY" is the call of the Confederate States of America, a country that racist extremists would like to see reestablished.

The statue should be in a museum, with hundreds of pictures of racial violence. The placard in the museum should read:

In the war of 1861, the United States of America stopped armed rebellion by the Confederate States of America. More than six hundred thousand deaths resulted.

The nickname of this statue is Silent Sam: the soldier lacks ammunition and is unable to fire his weapon.