In Charlottesville, violence erupts amid protests over confederate statue
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Filipino-Americans in Charlottesville, Virginia are weighing in on Saturday’s violence, in which a woman was killed when a man crashed his car into a group of counter-protesters.
And some of them want the Confederate statue at the center of the conflict removed.
It’s been a quiet Sunday night at this makeshift memorial in Downtown Charlottesville.
With the white nationalist protesters gone, a growing altar of flowers, candles and other memorabilia lay on the street where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a 20-year-old alt-right supporter rammed his car through the crowd Saturday afternoon.
19 others were injured, and 5 of them in critical condition.
Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right rally, held a news conference before an angry crowd booing and shouting at him.
Kessler’s group came to Charlottesville to protest the pending removal of the Confederate statue of Robert Lee on Market Street.
“Today I just want to come before you and I want to tell you the story of what really happened, before this narrative is allowed to continue spinning out of control,” said Kessler. “The hate that you hear around you, that is an anti-White hate that fueled what happened yesterday.”
These Filipino-Americans living in Charlottesville disagree.
“It kinda made me angry — I feel like outside they shouldn’t be comfortable with basically coming to my city and destroying everything, all because you guys think you are being replaced,” said Mica Biazon. “Trump should have called them out, by their names, telling them that they are terrorists.”
These kababayans say the quiet college town of Charlottesville has no place for bigotry — hoodless, torch-carrying, neo-Nazis and alt-right members are not welcome here.
The solution, this Filipina believes, is to finally take down the Confederate statue.
“I absolutely agree 100% that it should be gone,” said Biazon. “Basically what it represents is the confederacy, slavery, and I just… I don’t support it at all, I think it should be removed… hopefully they don’t come back.”
But not in Charlottesville everyone agrees.
“Let’s take down that statue, then what’s next? What’s gonna offend another person that we have to remove, then what’s gonna offend somebody after that?” said Jay Temple.
The statue is expected to be removed before the end of the year, if not next year, but that doesn’t mean, the white nationalist will go away when the statue goes away.