Charlottesville White Supremacist March: Country Singers React
Country singers are among the many Americans who have turned to social media to react to the news of torch-wielding white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Va., joining in the nearly universal condemnation.
A gathering of around 100 white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis marched on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va., on Friday night (Aug. 11), carrying torches. The assembled white supremacists gave the Nazi salute and chanted slogans including "you will not replace us" and "white lives matter," the Washington Post reports.
As reports circulated on Saturday (Aug. 12), many online comments focused on the fact that the torches they carried were, in fact, citronella tiki torches, including a few choice words from country singers.
"One thing's for sure, there are no mosquitos anywhere near this photo," Brothers Osborne quipped in a post, with the hashtag #citronellanazis. Maren Morris observed in a tweet that the protesters looked like they might have hit up the markdown section at Walmart before heading for the rally, while Wheeler Walker, Jr., also couldn't help but chime in.
Others stars including Ryan Hurd and Kacey Musgraves struck a much more serious tone as the protests turned openly violent Saturday in advance of a so-called "Unite the Right" rally planned for noon.
The white nationalists gathered for the rally at Emancipation Park in downtown Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue, and as the Post reports, they were met by clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West at the head of a large counter-protest that turned violent Saturday morning before police moved in and dispersed the crowds.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11AM and blamed the problems on "mostly out-of-state protesters," saying he is "disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours."
Saturday afternoon at least six pedestrians were struck in a crash involving multiple vehicles in Charlottesville when a car traveling at high speed struck another car from behind, then backed up and ran through the crowd. Police say at least three vehicles were involved. A spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said there were multiple injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.
Country Artists Wearing the American Flag