Charlottesville And Beyond


The violent display of white supremacist power at the “Unite the Right” rally by a gathering of men and women openly proclaiming that America is for the whites with slogans such as “you will not replace us” and “Jew will not replace us” directed against the minorities and the democratic minded people of the country and the city is outrageous to say the least. There was the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and many other groups representing different densities and textures of white nationalist ideology. They had descended on the city of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia campus from many parts of US armed with rifles, clubs, shields, pepper spray, bottles filled with chemicals and wearing helmets to scare, intimidate and attack the townspeople and students standing for an inclusive society.

These alt-right groups had converged on the town with confederate flags in defense of the statue of Robert Lee who was a general in the confederate army fighting to preserve slavery. The Charlottesville city council had recently voted to remove the statue from Emancipation park in the city center. When the people of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia organized a counter-protest against the white supremacists’ show of strength in their backyard, the fascist forces attacked them with clubs, pepper spray, liquid chemicals and one of them drove his car into the gathering of counter-protestors killing one woman and seriously injuring many participants.

While civil society leaders and most elected representatives from the mainstream political parties condemned the violence unleashed by the rightist forces, President Trump sought to portray the violence as a clash between the alt-right and alt-left! No wonder, a white supremacist and former KKK leader like David Duke thanked the president for his support and understanding.

While this is happening in the United States, rightist forces in the name of Hindu, Hindi and Hindustan boldly proclaiming that India is for Hindus,are unleashing violence against Muslims, other minority groups and secular forces with the blessings of the ruling political party BJP and the Prime Minister Mr. Modi. Dozens of people have been lynched in the name of cow protection, and the trade practices, livelihoods and food habits of minorities are under assault in the name of beef ban and cow slaughter ban.

With the retreat of communist, socialist and leftist forces from most countries of the world, vanquished ideologies and dark philosophies are making a strong come back in the garb of nationalism and patriotism. Intolerance is spreading and countries and societies are breaking apart along ethnic and communal fault lines. After the break-up of the Soviet Union we saw the splintering of Yugoslavia. We are also witnessing neo-Nazis and neo-fascists spreading their poisonous ideology and expanding their influence exploiting the various grievances among the people in many countries of Europe.

Immigrants are under attack, civil rights are under threat, democratic rights are being curtailed and voices of tolerance are being suppressed and hate crimes are increasing day by day. It is time for people who believe in an inclusive society, immigrant rights, diversity, civil and democratic rights and human values to raise their voices and be heard; they all need to stand up and be counted; it needs to be done before it is too late and the day is today and the time is now.The students and the common people of Charlottesville who came out courageously to raise their voices against the fascists and white supremacists deserve our whole-hearted support.

Dr. Subramani Mani is a physician-scientist currently residing in Albuquerque, NM, USA. He is a strong advocate of civil rights and human rights. He can be reached by email at [email protected].


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