100s of Torch Wielding White Supremacists Gathered for General Lee, Chanting “Russia is Our Friend”

Recently Charlottesville wanted to sell off a stature of Robert Edward Lee, that sits in a park. A court injunction stopped the move.  Lee, who lead the Confederate in battle against the North, became the great Southern hero of the War, a postwar icon of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” to some. Unfortunately, Southern America is massively racist, dotted with White Supremacist Groups, such as the KKK.

The Daily Progress today reported several dozen torch-wielding protesters gathered in Charlottesville’s Lee Park just after 9 p.m. Saturday, chanting “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.” However, the picture Daily Progress posted, the few dozen protesters, looked more like several hundreds.

Richard Spencer, a University of Virginia graduate and a white nationalist who popularized the term “alt-right,” wrote about the events at the statues of Confederate Gens. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Lee in several Twitter posts. Alt-Right is the code name for Natzi, Fascist or White Supremacist groups such as KKK.

Ku Klux Klan, the organization most closely associated with burning crosses and holding torch identifies itself as Christian. Why do they incinerate their faith’s most sacred symbol?

The practice dates back to Medieval Europe, an era the Klan idealizes as morally pure and racially homogenous. In the days before floodlights, Scottish clans set hillside crosses ablaze as symbols of defiance against military rivals or to rally troops when a battle was imminent. Though the original Klan, founded in 1866, patterned many of its rituals after those of Scottish fraternal orders, cross-burning was not part of its initial repertoire of terror.

Nevertheless, Thomas Dixon included a pivotal cross-burning scene in his 1905 novel The Clansman; he was attempting to legitimize the Klan’s supposed connections to the Scottish clans. A decade later, D.W. Griffith brought The Clansman to the silver screen, eventually renaming it The Birth of a Nation. Exhilarated by Griffith’s sympathetic portrayal, Klansmen started burning crosses soon afterto intimidate minorities, Catholics, and anyone else suspected of betraying the order’s ideals. The first reported burning took place in Georgia on Thanksgiving Eve, 1915. They have been associated with racist violence ever since.

Modern Klan groups are careful to refer to their ritual as “cross lighting” rather than cross-burning and insist that their fires symbolize faith in Christ. The days of so-called disciplinary burnings, they add, are long since over. Still, nearly 1,700 cross-burnings have been documented since the late 1980s, many of them in the front yards of African-American families—although, in all fairness, the majority have been carried out by lone racist yahoos, rather than by organized Klan groups.

Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. The son of Revolutionary War officer Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee III, Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican–American War, and served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.

When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his personal desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command.[1] During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies.[2][3] Lee’s strategic foresight was more questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat.[4][5][6] Lee’s aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years.[7] Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies; other Confederate forces swiftly capitulated after his surrender. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides.

After the war, as President of what is now Washington and Lee University, Lee supported President Andrew Johnson‘s program of Reconstruction and intersectional friendship, while opposing the Radical Republican proposals to give freed slaves the vote and take the vote away from ex-Confederates. He urged them to rethink their position between the North and the South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the nation’s political life. Lee became the great Southern hero of the War, a postwar icon of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” to some. But his popularity grew even in the North, especially after his death in 1870.[8] Barracks at West Point built in 1962 are named after him.

By The Daily Progress reports (source)

Torch-wielding protesters gather at Lee Park

Several dozen torch-wielding protesters gathered in Charlottesville’s Lee Park just after 9 p.m. Saturday, chanting “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.”

After about 10 minutes, Charlottesville police arrived at the scene following an altercation between protesters. The crowd quickly dispersed with no further incidents, according to police.

In April, Charlottesville City Council voted to sell the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands in the park, but a judge earlier this month issued an injunction that prevents the city from doing so for six months.

The city’s decision has drawn considerable consternation from Southern heritage groups, Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart and a number of others in Virginia and elsewhere.

Richard Spencer, a University of Virginia graduate and a white nationalist who popularized the term “alt-right,” wrote about the events at the statues of Confederate Gens. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Lee in several Twitter posts.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler, who led an unsuccessful attempt to oust City Councilor Wes Bellamy over an effort to remove the Lee statue, also posted about the event. Several photos posted by them appear to correspond to the scene as described by a Daily Progress reporter.

In a statement, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the event “either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK. Either way, as mayor of this city, I want everyone to know this: we reject this intimidation. We are a welcoming city, but such intolerance is not welcome here.”

On Twitter, Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, called the “outrageous protests in Charlottesville this evening by apparent white supremacists” unacceptable.

“Whoever these people were, the intolerance and hatred they seek to promote is utterly disgusting and disturbing beyond words,” Erich Reimer, chairman of the Charlottesville Republican party, said in a statement. “This is a time for our community to come together on our common values of liberty, equality and justice for all, in stark contrast to them.”

Police were unable to confirm exactly who or what groups were at the Lee and Jackson parks on Saturday.

In issuing an injunction blocking Charlottesville from selling the Lee statue, the judge, however, did not apply it to the city’s plan to rename the Lee and Jackson parks. The city also will not be barred from initiating a master planning process to redesign the two historical districts where the parks are located.

The plan also includes a concept to build a new memorial in Jackson Park to those who were enslaved in the city.

In filing a lawsuit against the city’s decision to sell the Lee statue, the plaintiffs — a collection of local residents and the Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans — allege the city’s vote to remove the statue violates a state law that protects war memorials.

The Monument Fund, a collection of the plaintiffs in the case, disavowed the demonstration and said it was not involved in it.

Elliott Harding, an attorney who is involved with the group and the litigants in the case against the city, confirmed in a text message that a statement posted from the Facebook page Save the Robert E. Lee Statue was issued by associates of The Monument Fund.

“Neither Save the Robert E. Lee Statue nor The Monument Fund were in any way involved in these events and only learned of them though media reports,” the statement said.

“We remain committed to preserving the Robert E. Lee Monument in its park through the legal process in the courts because of its historic and artistic value.

“We soundly and completely reject racism, white supremacy, and any other identity based groups that preach division and hate no matter which side of the issue they happen to support.”

 

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