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White Supremacists Are Waging a War Against Public Space

Fascism and open carry are incompatible with the public square, in Charlottesville and beyond.
White supremacists in Charlottesville.
White supremacists in Charlottesville.Steve Helber/AP

Details are slowly emerging about the fatal vehicular attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. James Fields, a 20-year-old man, has been charged for the assault, which killed one person, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and injured 19 others. The attack sparked an immediate political controversy after President Donald Trump declined to specifically condemn white nationalism, instead blaming the violence “on many sides.”

The ramifications of the attack are wide ranging—for the increasingly visible white supremacist movement, for the mainstream conservatives that give them safe harbor, for the liberal Virginia college town beset by these torch rallies, and for the victims of racism and bigotry.