Letter to the Editor: Stand up against hate

Dear Editor:

The Letter to the Editor entitled “KKK’s Right to Free Speech” saddened me. We all would like to deny the reality of the hateful forces alive in our country, but, unfortunately, we cannot.

First, the far-right groups that descended on Charlottesville from around the country were more than “purported members” of hate groups. They proudly, publicly profess their belief in extreme right-wing hate, using words and symbols descended directly from the evil Nazis in Germany and our own terrorist Ku Klux Klan. They voice their hate in their chants and in public rants all over the internet. They came to Charlottesville heavily armed as always, with helmets, shields clubs and firearms. 

Without a permit, on Friday night they conducted a torch-carrying march which deliberately recreated the most terrifying displays of the Ku Klux Klan. Their chant was “Blood and Soil.” This unpermitted march, like the cross-burnings of old, was not a peaceful expression of ideas, but a bold act of intimidation. 

On Saturday, according to Charlottesville Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr., the permitted far-right protest did not follow the agreed-upon plan that would have kept them separate from the counter protesters. Instead, they entered the park from multiple directions, headlong into the counter-protesters. That day ended in the tragic death of Heather Hayer, when James A. Fields deliberately drove his car at high speed into a group of counter-protesters, on a side street far from the main conflict. For this evil act of terrorism Fields has been rightly charged with murder. 

Once again, right-wing terrorist hate groups, direct descendants of the Nazis of Germany and America KKK, have risen up in America and are looking for trouble. I hope and pray that good-hearted Americans will continue to stand up and oppose them at every turn. 

Frank Kearns