Tragedy visited Charlottesville VA yesterday. A young woman, in the wrong place at the wrong time, was killed when she was struck by a car driven intentionally into a crowd of people by a young man from Ohio with decidedly different social and political views than she. Several others were seriously injured and the driver of the car was arrested and charged with second degree murder, among other charges.
There are so many aspects of this tragedy that warrant thoughtful consideration. I've thought about little else since it happened and have come to a conclusion. This tragedy would not have happened if the counterprotesters, as they are called, had not been there.
The rally was supposed to be a continuation of a protest against the city council decision to remove a long standing statue of Robert E Lee from a city park. Yes, other groups joined the rally including white supremacists, alleged KKK, armed militia and neo nazi sympathizes. However, the violence and ultimate tragedy needed more than just the rally attendees to occur. It needed the taunting and goading of the counterprotestors.
The rally attendees had the right to gather and protest what they believe to be a serious transgression by the city.
They have the freedom to do so in this country. I don't care what their message is, they still have the freedom to gather and protest.
Yes, the counterprotestors have the right to protest, also. However, they need to accept the fact that there will likely be consequences, especially, when they taunt and antagonize. Those consequences are of their own making.
If they had just stayed home. If only they had just stayed home, my first blog entry would not have begun with the death of Heather Heyer.