The eyes of the nation — and the world — turned to Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday after a “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally descended into chaos.
The rally brought together the members of various white nationalist hate groups, including neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and their smaller sub-factions. They were greeted by an army of protesters who were there to demonstrate that hateful ideologies aren’t welcome in public spaces.
The gathering quickly turned violent as hate groups and protesters clashed, an outcome that was foreshadowed on Friday night when a mob of torch-bearing racists converged on the University of Virginia campus.
Early on Saturday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and the city designated the rally an “unlawful assembly.” Neither move shut down the violence, which peaked when a car rammed into a crowd of protesters, leaving at least one dead and 19 injured. Many have since characterized that incident as an act of domestic terrorism.
Images and video footage from Charlottesville left many Americans in shock even as it highlighted the strong divisions that run rampant across the nation. These photos are a jarring reminder that racism is alive and well in this country, and that hate of any calibre should never be tolerated.
Don’t look away. Remember: You can’t fight a thing without seeing it first.