Senior Statesmen of Va. Hears from UVA Professor on Charlottesville Statues
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Members of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia are now a little more knowledgeable about why Charlottesville became a hot spot for white supremacists in August of 2017.
They’re taking a closer look at Charlottesville's history, thanks to a woman who studies the history of American politics and media.
Nicole Hemmer covered the events of August 11 and 12 for Vox, where she’s a columnist, and she’s also an assistant professor of presidential studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.
Now, she’s telling others how the statues in Charlottesville contributed to what some activists call "the summer of hate."
Hemmer spoke at the Senior Statesmen of Virginia meeting on Wednesday, June 12.
She says "alt-right" members and neo-Nazis came to Charlottesville in part because of how the city looks at its history.
According to Hemmer, statues in and around the city play a large part in how people look at its past.
“The mistaken history that the city tells in its statues, which became a center of debate in 2015 and 2016 and 2017, was really important because there was a fight in the city that turned into a literal fight in the city over what those statues meant and who has power in the city,” Hemmer said.
Hemmer says Charlottesville is already taking steps to fix some of the problems that led to those events by telling a more inclusive history and creating monuments to honor enslaved people from the past.
Hemmer says while she’s always open to discussions surrounding the events of August 11 and 12, right now she’s working on a history of what happened to conservatism after Ronald Reagan's presidency.