CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - While the U.S. House of Representatives was voting to impeach President Donald Trump, a panel was meeting virtually to discuss fascism and the far-right.
The conversation, entitled ‘Using the F-Word: Fascist Drift in America,’ was hosted by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. The panelists included Emily Gorcenski, a data scientist and racial justice activist from Charlottesville, and it was moderated by Jalane Schmidt, who has led efforts to get rid of Confederate statues.
They discussed the similarities between the events of August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, and the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
“Authorities and law enforcement ignored very clear and explicit threats of violence from the attendees and the planners,” Gorcenski said. “There was no subtlety in the messaging and the advertising of the rally.”
That was a message shared by Nicole Hemmer, a writer, podcaster, and historian who created the podcast A12.
“Over the course of the past 3-4 years, the Department of Homeland Security, even under Trump, has underscored that right-wing terrorists are the most persistent and lethal threat to the U.S.,” she said. “Yet, this reluctance to take them seriously, even when they’re at the door of the Capitol, is an important thing to underscore.”
The panel also discussed the role of social media and other online platforms as a way to recruit and spread messages.