White nationalists: Charlottesville just a beginning


Emboldened and proclaiming victory after a bloody weekend in Virginia, white nationalists are planning more demonstrations to promote their agenda following the violence that left a woman dead and dozens injured.

The University of Florida said white provocateur Richard Spencer, whose appearances sometimes stoke unrest, is seeking permission to speak there next month. And white nationalist Preston Wiginton had said he was planning a "White Lives Matter" rally at Texas A&M University in September, but the university later said it had been canceled.

Also, a neo-Confederate group has asked the state of Virginia for permission to rally at a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond on Sept. 16, and other events are likely.

"We're going to be more active than ever before," Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader, said Monday.

James Alex Fields Jr., a young man who was said to idolize Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in high school, was charged with killing a woman by slamming a car into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally Sunday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fields, 20, who recently moved to Ohio from his home state of Kentucky, was held without bail on murder charges. He was photographed at the rally behind a shield bearing the emblem of the white nationalist Vanguard America, though the group denied he was a member.

Two state troopers also died Sunday when their helicopter crashed during an effort to contain the violence.

The U.S. Justice Department said it will review the violence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC that the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, met the definition of domestic terrorism.

White nationalists said they were undaunted.

Heimbach, who said he was pepper-sprayed during the melee in Charlottesville, called the event Saturday "an absolute stunning victory" for the far right because of the large number of supporters who descended on the city to decry plans to remove a statue of Lee.

Hundreds of white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and others were involved, by some estimates, in what Heimbach, leader of the Traditionalist Workers Party, called the nation's biggest such event in a decade or more. Even more opponents turned out, and the two sides clashed violently.

A neo-Nazi website that helped promote the gathering said there will be more events soon.

"We are going to start doing this nonstop. Across the country," said the site, which internet domain host GoDaddy said it was shutting down after it mocked the woman killed in Charlottesville.

The head of the National Socialist Movement, Jeff Schoep, said Charlottesville was a "really good" white nationalist event that was being overshadowed by the deaths. "Any time someone loses their life it's unfortunate," he said.

He blamed the violence on inadequate police protection and counter-demonstrators and said he doubts white nationalists will be deterred from attending more such demonstrations.

Preserving memorials to the Old South has become an animating force for the white nationalist movement, not because all members are Southern, Schoep said, but because adherents see the drive to remove such monuments as part of a larger, anti-white crusade.

"It's an assault on American freedoms. Today it's Confederate monuments. Tomorrow it may be the Constitution or the American flag," Schoep said.

At the University of Florida, where Spencer has asked to speak, President W. Kent Fuchs called the events in Virginia "deplorable" but indicated school officials might be unable to block his appearance.

"While this speaker's views do not align with our values as an institution, we must follow the law, upholding the First Amendment not to discriminate based on content and provide access to a public space," Fuchs said in a message on the university's Facebook page.

Auburn University spent almost $30,000 in legal fees in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Spencer from speaking on its campus in Alabama in April.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Thanksgiving and pets: How to keep your furry family members from getting sick during the holiday
Thanksgiving and pets: How to keep your furry family members from getting sick during the holiday

As family and friends sit down for Thanksgiving this week, you’re going to want to make sure that Fido and Fluffy aren’t begging for scraps under the table. The centerpiece of Thursday’s big dinner can be toxic to pets if you use garlic, butter and other seasoning, Fox News reported. If the bird is cooked without extra ingredients...
What the parasites in a defector's stomach tell us about North Korea
What the parasites in a defector's stomach tell us about North Korea

The North Korean defector had sped across the demilitarized zone in a stolen jeep, then crawled south as the men who had been his comrades moments ago shot at him with handguns and AK-47 rifles. South Korean soldiers found the defector under a pile of leaves, bleeding from at least five gunshot wounds. He was brought to doctors, who expected to find...
Goodbye, Georgia Dome – thanks for the memories!
Goodbye, Georgia Dome – thanks for the memories!

As we say goodbye to the Georgia Dome after a quarter-century, it’s only fitting we look back at some it its most memorable moments. The Atlanta landmark was demolished at 7:30 a.m. Monday. The last event was held in the 25-year-old building in March, and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened next door in August. >> Head to WSBTV...
Trump poses a 2018 puzzle for Republican governors
Trump poses a 2018 puzzle for Republican governors

For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.  But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin...
How Congress plays by different rules on sexual harassment and misconduct
How Congress plays by different rules on sexual harassment and misconduct

Briony Whitehouse was a 19-year-old intern in 2003 when she boarded an elevator in the Russell Senate Office Building with a Republican senator who, she said, groped her until the doors reopened.  She never reported the incident to her bosses for fear of jeopardizing her career. But she recently tweeted about her experience on Twitter as part...
More Stories