The recent removal of Confederate monuments in the Deep South has triggered a variety of public protests. But if ever there was one that demonstrated the need for knocking some old ideas off their pedestals, the protest in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday was it. The demonstration involved about 50 members of the Ku Klux Klan, including some who wore their traditional hooded white robes and chanted such things as “white power” as they protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. But after 30 minutes of marching, the protesters were confronted by a group of counterprotesters more than 1,000 strong that followed the KKK members to their cars chanting “go home” and “black lives matter.” That should have been the end of it — if the KKK members had been allowed to drive away in peace. But that was not the case. The counterprotesters continued to block their vehicles. When police intervened, tensions grew, resulting in tear gas being fired and fights breaking out. In the end, 23 people were arrested, and at least three people ended up in the hospital. This thumbs down is for the KKK which showed that these statues, for many, still stand for white supremacy. It was time for these cities to stand for something else — like peaceful protests — and bring these statues down.
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