So who were those who marched on the University of Virginia campus on Friday night, citronella Tiki torches in hand?
What about Saturday, as they descended on Emancipation Park for their “Unite the Right” rally?
Vice News sent a crew to film the events, beginning on Friday afternoon, when rally goers met up in McIntire Park. A reporter was embedded with the white nationalists through the events of the weekend, including the moment when James Alex Fields rammed his car down a crowded street, and all the emotional chaos that followed.
Among the chants heard during the Friday march:
“Whose streets? Our streets!”
“Blood and soil! Blood and soil!”
“No Jews will replace us!”
One who appeared to be the leader of the group, wearing a black t-shirt with the words: Radical Agenda, made for a particularly disturbing interview.
He spoke about how he became more radicalized after the events surrounding the Trayvon Martin case, and then the Michael Brown case. He also said the goal was to get a president “like Donald Trump,” but who wouldn’t “give his daughter to a Jew.”
One myth that seems to be dispelled by the video is that the police somehow corralled the alt-right rally goers straight into a wall of violent counter-protesters.
One truth: Counter-protesters used mace on the alt-right members.
One thing that nobody talked about: Some of those who were there to rally were heavily armed.
The portion of the video that goes through the chaos immediately after Fields rammed into the crowd is followed by a black screen, and you hear President Trump condemning violence on “many sides.”
Something about seeing things as they happened and being in that moment, then to just hear Trump’s words really nails the emotional revulsion some had to his initial reluctance to call out the white nationalists by name.
The video is about 20 minutes long, but for those who really want to know what went wrong, it is well worth the watch. You can view it here.
Just a warning, some of the language and content (a lot, actually) is NSFW.