“We can join forces, stop the screaming and lower the temperature,” Biden said. “For without unity there is no peace – only bitterness and fury.”
But in interviews this week, activists in Charlottesville, religious leaders and civil rights groups who endured the events of 2017 urged Biden and the Democratic Party to go beyond the vision of the unity as the ultimate political goal and prioritizing a sense of justice that uplifts the historically marginalized. . When Mr Biden called Ms Bro on the day she entered the presidential race in 2019, she urged him to honor his political commitments to correct racial inequalities. She refused to support him, she said, focusing more on supporting the anti-racism movement than any individual candidate.
Local leaders say this is the legacy of the “summer of hate,” as the white supremacist actions and violence of 2017 are known in Charlottesville. When Mr. Trump’s election and the violence that followed pierced the myth of a post-racial America, especially among white liberals, these leaders embarked on the long arc of seclusion of democracy from the white supremacy and disinformation.
“We were the canary in the coal mine,” said Jalane Schmidt, an activist and professor who teaches at the University of Virginia and was involved in activism in 2017. She compared the current political moment to the consequences of the Civil War, defining the choice of Mr. Biden’s administration as committing to radical change akin to reconstruction or going hand in hand with the kind of compromise that ended its existence.
“We have a whole big political party that, in too much of it, supports undemocratic practices, voter suppression and pampering these conspiracy theories,” said Dr Schmidt, referring to Republicans. . “So healing?” Unit? You cannot do this with people who do not adhere to basic democratic principles.
Reverend Phil Woodson, associate pastor of First Methodist United Church, who was among the counter-protesters facing the crowds in 2017, said: “As much as Charlottesville has been able to drive his presidential campaign, Joe Biden does has not been to Charlottesville.