Guest writer Khristian Smith shares his experience as a counter-protester of the ‘Unite the Right Rally’ at Charlottesville on August 11 – 12, 2017.
Late in the evening on August 11, I turned away from my work to find that hundreds of real-life Nazis had descended onto the Grounds at the University of Virginia. I honestly wish I could say I was surprised by their clandestine march or the fact that they were wielding torches, but given the City of Charlottesville’s, UVA’s, and Thomas Jefferson’s histories, pretending to be surprised would be dishonest and as much an assent to the violence that inevitably followed as, say, a condemnation of violence “on many sides.” Fortunately, I was not alone in my lack of surprise.
As hundreds of torch-wielding white supremacists marched their way across the lawn to the Rotunda, 20+ third and fourth year students created a wall around the Rotunda’s statue of Jefferson. These students linked arms, held signs, and met “you will not replace us” and “blood and soil” with “Black Lives Matter” and civil disobedience. Their nonviolent determent of (mostly) white men retained even when “blood and soil” transformed into “we have the right to beat you.”
Voices of Resistance is an ongoing project at Boshemia to share narratives of activism in the current geopolitical climate. If you would like your story of activism shared with our global feminist community, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is our first installment.
For this first installment of Voices of Resistance, we turn to Appalachia—a region of the United States often overlooked—and remembered by many only for stereotypes of rural life, poverty, coal mining, and opioid abuse. This great swath of America has long endured sensationalized myths of identity and little media attention has been offered over the years to mitigate these perceptions.
Appalachia describes the cultural and geographical region in the contiguous United States that stretches from southern New York to northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. At the 2010 census, 25 million people were reported to inhabit this land of sleepy hollers and ancient mountains. That’s a substantial population to overlook, and that’s precisely what has happened.