Confederate Statue Removed In Charlottesville, Virginia

Statue of Robert E. Lee removed from its pedestal in Charlottesville, VA
Statue of Robert E. Lee removed from its pedestal in Charlottesville, VA
Statue of Robert E. Lee removed from its pedestal in Charlottesville, VA (screen capture)

Nearly four years after violence broke out at the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in 2017, the Robert E. Lee monument that helped spark the white supremacist event in Charlottesville, Virginia, was removed from its stone pedestal today.

Spectators by the dozens lined the blocks surrounding the park. The Associated Press reports a cheer went up as the statue came down.

Additionally, a statue of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was removed.

Sources say the statues will be stored in a secure location until the City Council decides what to do with them.

You’ll recall Heather Heyer, a peaceful counter-protester, was killed in the violence. At the time, Donald Trump garnered criticism by insisting there was “blame on both sides.”

White Supremacist Gets Life In Prison For Driving Car Into Crowd At Charlottesville Hate Rally

Alex Fields Jr. (mug shot)

NBC News reports that James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd protesting white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, has been sentence to life in prison.

James Alex Fields Jr. pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 hate crime charges in March in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty for murdering civil rights activist Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30 others when he intentionally mowed them down on a side street with his car on Aug. 12, 2017.

The 30th charge, which included a possible death sentence, was dropped. U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed and permitted prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors have said that Fields has shown no remorse for the violence and had a history of racist and anti-Semitic behavior.

According to reports, Fields admired Adolf Hitler keeping a photo of the German dictator next to his bed.

A former classmate of Fields testified during his trial that on a high school trip to a German concentration camp, Fields said aloud, “This is where the magic happened.”

This isn’t the end of legal troubles for Fields, though.

He has also been convicted on state charges, including first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one hit and run count for injuring dozens of others with his vehicle.

He has a sentencing hearing set on July 15 regarding those charges.

The jury in that case has reportedly recommended life in prison plus 419 years.

White Supremacist Pleads Guilty To 29 Federal Hate Crimes

James Fields, Jr. has pleaded guilty to 29 federal hate crime charges for his car attack on a crowd of people on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville.
James A. Fields Jr. (mugshot)

James A. Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of people killing Heather Heyer during a rally for white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, has pleaded guilty to 29 federal hate crime charges.

Fields originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea Wednesday. Those crimes carried the possibility of the death penalty.

From CBS19News:

James Fields, Jr. has pleaded guilty to 29 federal hate crime charges for his car attack on a crowd of people on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville.

The attack killed Heather Heyer and injured many other people. As a result of the plea, the death penalty was taken off the table.

The courtroom was filled with several people who had been injured in the car attack and Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Fields had to answer questions about his competence, and he said he was making the decision of his own free will. He did not express any remorse.

The plea deal had to be approved by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and prosecutors obtained that approval.

Fields was convicted of first-degree murder and several counts of malicious wounding during his state trial in December. He already faces a life sentence plus 419 years for that conviction.

White Supremacist Sentenced To Life In Prison For Driving Car Through Charlottesville Crowd

James A Fields Jr.

The Washington Post reports that neo-nazi James A. Fields Jr., convicted of first-degree murder (among other charges) has been sentenced to life in prison and more for his actions.

James A. Fields Jr., an avowed neo-Nazi who rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters at a white-supremacist rally, was sentenced to life in prison by a jury Tuesday after a trial that offered an unsparing view of the physical and emotional ruin he caused in this city with a burst of vehicular rage 16 month ago.

As he had throughout his two-week trial, Fields, 21, sat impassively at the defendant’s table, clad in a powder blue sweater, as the jury delivered its verdict at 12:20 p.m. after about four hours of deliberations that began Monday: life for first-degree murder; 70 years for each of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding; 20 years for each of three counts of malicious wounding; and nine years for leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

His overall sentence: life plus 419 years and $480,000 in fines.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in the attack as well as 35 others who were seriously injured.

In Virginia, a trial jury hands out sentences within certain guidelines.

The judge will officially sentence Fields on March 29.  At that time, the judge may reduce, but not increase, the prison time.

Charlottesville Neo-Nazi Found Guilty Of Murder

James Alex Fields (mug shot via the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.)

The Neo-nazi who drove his car into a crowd of people a the Charlottesville rally in 2017 has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

From ABC News:

Suspect James Alex Fields was on trial for the death and injuries he is accused of causing when he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.

He was found guilty on all of the charges he was facing, ABC affiliate WSET reports, which included first-degree murder as well as eight other charges relating to injuries and one relating to fleeing the scene of an accident.

Fields’ sentencing will come at a later date, and he faces life in prison.

Fields’ defense lawyers tried to claim ‘self-defense’ saying he became afraid after the rally, led by white nationalists and neo-nazis turned violent.

Entered into evidence during the trial were text messages Fields sent to his mother leading up to and during the rally. “We’re not the one [sic] who need to be careful,” he texted his mother the day before the event, along with a picture of Adolf Hitler.

The jury also heard a jailhouse conversation between Fields and his mom. When his mother mentioned that Heyer’s mother had lost a daughter due to his actions, he responded, “It doesn’t f*cking matter.”

The 21-year-old still faces 30 federal charges, separate from this trial, relating to hate crimes.

When The Inclusive Message Of “Y’all Means All” Is Deemed Too “Political”

Charlottesville’s Pride event is just around the corner and the organizers want to make sure that the annual LGBT event is meant to include everyone.

So much so that this year’s theme is “Y’all Means All.”

But apparently that message of inclusion was deemed too “political” for one t-shirt company.

Charlottesville is about to celebrate pride, but the planning hit an unexpected problem proving exactly why we still need these events.

The usual vendor for Charlottesville Pride, Red Star, outsourced the organization’s t-shirt order to Pennsylvania-based Legacy Athletics.

But Legacy Athletics declined to fulfill the order on the grounds that the Pride message was too “political.”

Here’s the response sent to Red Star:

I am sorry for the delay, this is a design that we would not be able to produce.

While Legacy does offer custom logos, we also carefully nurture and protect our brand. One of the ways we keep a positive connotation to the brand, is by avoiding doing any products with custom logos that might be deemed as controversial, political, offensive, etc. This does not in any way mean that we either support or do not support the organization making the request, but the reality is that in light of recent events in Charlottesville as well as the fact Gay Pride events are political activism; we respectfully decline this order. Again, I hope you can understand our position.

Now, companies can certainly decline an order from an organization like Charlottesville Pride because political groups are not protected classes.

But you have to admit “Y’all Means All” is a tough message to oppose.

Charlottesville Pride organizers used the episode as a teaching moment explaining this is exactly why we need Pride celebrations:

And to those of you who thought we were past this kind of discrimination, please know that while this explicit expression of homophobia is indeed shocking, it’s only the fact that what usually seethes beneath the surface has come up for air that’s new. We live with implicit and inferred bias and constant threat of legal recrimination everyday.

In this world of Trump, where open bias and supremacy against all kinds of marginalized communities has become applauded and encouraged, we, the LGBTQ community, need you – our allies, our would-be friends – to stand up for us, to stand up with us, to have our back.

If you’re in the area, Charlottesville Pride is this Saturday, September 16, at the Sprint Pavilion, 700 E. Main St.

Miss Texas Trolls Trump At Miss America Pageant Over Charlottesville Racists

Miss Texas Morgana Wood

At last night’s Miss America Pageant, Miss Texas Margana Wood didn’t pause a second when answering a question from out People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle about President Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville debacle.

Cagle queried, “Last month a demonstration of neo-Nazi white supremacists and the KKK in Charlottesville Virginia turned violent and a counter protester was killed. The president said there was shared blame with quote ‘very fine people on both sides’. Were there? Tell me yes or no and explain.”

Wood’s answer was delivered deftly:

“I think that the white supremacist issue — it was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and in making sure all Americans feel safe in this country and that is the number one issue right now.”

In the end, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund took home the crown.

Watch Miss Wood below.

Tina Fey Advises Sheet-Caking To Cope With Neo-Nazi Rallies

On last night’s summer edition of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update,” University of Virginia graduate shared her thoughts on the violent racist rally in Charlottesville. Along the way, she calls out Donald Trump, Ann Coulter and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

She also offered her own special technique for coping with neo-nazi get-togethers; a practice she calls “sheet-caking.”

“I would urge people this Saturday, instead of participating in the screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business you support. Maybe a Jewish run bakery or African-American run bakery, and order a cake with the American flag on it, and just eat it. Sheet-caking is a grassroots movement, Colin. Most of the women I know have been doing it once a week since the election.”

Along the way she added:

“Part of me hopes these neo-Nazis do try it in New York City. I hope they do try and get their ham salad kicked out of them by a bunch of drag queens. Cause you know what a drag queen still is? A six foot four black man.”

“Who drove the car into the crowd, Hillary’s emails?”

We all can use some laughs these days, and Fey brings the big-time tasty humor.

Watch below and enjoy.

Charlottesville Nazi Strips His “White Power” Costume To Escape Protesters

Documentary-maker C.J. Hunt was in Charlottesville this past weekend to finish a doc on Confederate monuments.

Caught up in the violent turmoil of Saturday’s neo-nazi events, he came across a young white supremacist who came running by him, clearly separated from his pack and afraid.

Via GQ Magazine:

It was Saturday, and the police had finally called for everyone to clear the park. As I filmed officers opening up a blocked street, a young man ran into view, screaming for help. He wore the khaki-and-white uniform of the white nationalist group Vanguard America. He had been separated from them and was being chased by at least one protester. He ripped off his shirt and begged the crowd for mercy. He wasn’t actually into white power, you see.

“Barely,” he clarified to me. As he shoved his polo shirt into a plastic bag, the fear on his face settled into a smirk. “It’s kind of a fun idea,” he explained. “Just being able to say ‘white power,’ you know?”

I didn’t know. But by the look of things, the fun of shouting “white power” stopped as soon as he was threatened with the same violence his group brought to bear on others. Cut off from the pack, forced to face the consequences of his inflammatory behavior, he found escape in a costume change.

Hunt goes on to note that the simple ability to shed his white supremacist skin demonstrates, in part, the white privilege the alt-right denies exists. People of color have no access to such immediate camouflage. The privilege to disappear by removing a shirt.

Watch below as the young neo-nazi explains before he walks off with a smirk.