The Impact of Protests on Charlottesville Politics: An Expert's Perspective

The events of August 11th, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia will remain etched in history as a dark chapter. A counterdemonstrator and two police officers were killed, and the city, nation, and presidency were engulfed in a storm of controversy. If you're just catching up on the aftermath of the weekend's events or feeling overwhelmed by the volume of news, here's a summary of The New York Times' coverage. President Trump stated: “Racism is bad” and added that “those who cause violence in their name are criminals and thugs, including K, K, K.” The CEO of Walmart, Doug McMillon, also criticized Mr.

Trump in a letter to employees on Monday. Many more business leaders are outraged in private but fear the consequences of speaking up, wrote Andrew Ross Sorkin of Dealbook. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the deadly attack “domestic terrorism” and said: “Rest assured that we will prosecute and move the investigation forward to the most serious charges that can be filed.” These are some reactions of the right and the left to violence. If you're a parent, here are some books to help you explain the events to your children.

White nationalists also faced backlash from companies. Web hosting service GoDaddy cut ties with The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, after the site published an article mocking victims of violence. Two state police officers were also killed on Saturday: Jay Cullen and Private Berke M. Bates were in a helicopter monitoring the demonstrations when it fell and burst into flames.

The driver of the car was James Alex Fields Jr., who faces a range of charges including one count of second-degree murder. On Monday, a judge denied Mr. Fields' release on bail and said he would appoint a lawyer for him. Here's what we know about Mr.

Fields; a Times reporter answered readers' questions about why The Times would profile him. At its core, Saturday's demonstration was organized in opposition to a plan by local authorities to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy's top general, from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. That plan sparked a similar protest in May led by white nationalist Richard B. Spencer as well as a Ku Klux Klan rally in July.

The removal of Confederate monuments has also aroused anger in cities like New Orleans, and officials from several states are now making similar efforts. Monday night demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina took matters into their own hands by toppling a Confederate statue. However, the forces behind the demonstration go far beyond the removal of statues. Right-wing extremism including white nationalism and white supremacy is on the rise according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. And a series of murders in recent months fanned the specter of far-right violence long before last weekend. Since 1924 a statue of Confederate General Robert E.

Lee riding a horse Traveller has been located in what is now known as Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. Until last year most people paid little attention to it but that changed dramatically when the city voted to remove it as part of the recent national trend of reconsidering public exhibits that could be perceived as tributes to those who fought to defend slavery. On Friday August 11th white supremacists and neo-Nazis met to protest its removal and when counterdemonstrators from movements such as Black Lives Matter appeared chaos and brutality ensued leaving many injured and one young woman dead after being hit by a car driven by someone who had defended white supremacist views. Americans across the country reacted with shock to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville and to the sight of neo-Nazis parading in a torchlight march on the grounds of the University of Virginia founded by Thomas Jefferson raising concern about racism and anti-Semitism in our society. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 employees are protected from dismissal based on protected categories such as race color sex national origin and religion however political beliefs are not protected by Title VII. The First Amendment prohibits government interference with freedom of expression and protects government employees however private employers are not subject to these constitutional restrictions. In addition to federal laws some states have laws that protect employees because of their political participation and activities such as New York and California which limit private employers from firing workers for expressing their political opinion while out of service or establishing any rule or policy that could be interpreted as prohibiting or controlling political speech. Virginia however is not one of those states strongly adhering to employment-at-will doctrine private employers have right to hire or fire an employee for any reason that is not discriminatory (i.e., for refusing to commit a crime or participate in an act that would otherwise be illegal). Therefore if an employee is fired for political speech in Virginia it may be best policy to give no reason except that employee's services are no longer needed refraining from giving further explanations will also help avoid any possible defamation lawsuits by employee if prospective employer asks reason for dismissal.

Jasmin Migliorisi
Jasmin Migliorisi

Extreme food ninja. Unapologetic bacon evangelist. Lifelong bacon geek. General food junkie. Avid web aficionado.

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