One Year Later: Reflections On Charlottesville

Aug 13, 2018

A small group of white supremacist demonstrators and hundreds of counter protesters marched in the nation’s capital Sunday on the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead. There were no organized movements in Charlotte this past weekend, but the reverberations of the events last year are still felt locally. We spoke with people in Charlotte’s University area on their reflections a year later. 

LaShannda Walker: "When I heard the news, it was kind of shocking. As a black woman in today’s society, you think that you’ve made so much progress with racism and things like that just to hear stories that people who think that way are so prominent. It was really sad and an eye-opener for sure." 

LeGrand Varner, right, and his wife.
Credit Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

LeGrand Varner: "Ugly’s always been here and will always be here. It just has been in the background. Now, it’s just being illuminated."

Ana Pisani: "We’ve overcome so many challenges as the human race and you bump into this kind of situation where it feels like it’s a huge jump back, not a step, but a huge jump back."

Armando Rojas: "When you have the leader, the president, not setting the standard of how we should be as a nation, then that just gives them the power to just say, 'You know what? We can be ourselves. We can be freely racist.' That’s certainly not what I fought for in Iraq."

Armando Rojas.
Credit Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

Stewart Altman: "Once you bring violence into a public forum, it’s no longer an exchange of ideas. It becomes a mob. We can’t have mobs in this country. It’s not right." 

Amy Altman: " We’re not a split nation. We are a nation together. Let’s work together."