The events in Charlottesville, Virginia are tragic and horrifying. Various racist, white supremacist groups converged on the small college town of Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert Lee. Protesters carried flags with Nazi swastikas and chanted racist slogans such as “White lives matter”. Former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, David Duke, attended the rally saying, “We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in.”
The white supremacists were met by counter-protesters who chanted “Kill all Nazis” and urged the protesters to die off quickly.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the protesters and counter-protesters to become violent as both sides clashed in the streets injuring dozens of people. Tragically, the clashes turned deadly when a car apparently driven by one of the white nationalists sped into a crowd of counter-protesters killing one person and injuring 19 more, 5 of whom critically.
President Donald Trump condemned the violence and bigotry but curiously did not specifically condemn the white supremacists leading many to criticize Trump’s statement. Said Senator Cory Gardner, “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
Libertarians strongly believe in the right of free speech, but words are never an excuse to resort to violence. Former Libertarian candidate for Illinois Senate Kent McMillen said, “There is no place in this country for hatred or violence.”
Meanwhile, Illinois State Representative Allen Skillicorn said, “This is domestic terrorism. People have the right to free speech. They can rally and peacefully assemble on any issue, but it never extends to violence, never.”
Two time Libertarian presidential candidate also condemned the racism and violence in Charolettesville:
Libertarians call on all Americans to respect the rule of law, and reject hate and violence. We’re all in this together.