This weekend, our beloved University and its surrounding Charlottesville community were under siege.
Ordinarily, you come to Streaking the Lawn to catch up on the latest happenings in Virginia athletics. You read our analysis and you laugh at our jokes. But there’s nothing funny about what transpired this weekend.
As we followed along on social and national media, our hearts ached in support of the University and Charlottesville communities - indeed for all of America. What happened this weekend in Charlottesville was not a protest. It wasn’t a rally, and it certainly wasn’t a display of unity.
No, what happened this weekend was nothing short of domestic terrorism. The chants by the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis calling themselves the “Alt-Right” were designed for no purpose other than to instill fear throughout the community. There is no place for that in Charlottesville, nor anywhere else.
While the editorial staff here at Streaking the Lawn believes in the First Amendment and the protections it offers, we condemn the acts of violence, hate, and terrorism that were on display from the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis that invaded Charlottesville this weekend.
Our hearts go out to the families of the three fallen victims this weekend: Heather Heyer, the young woman killed downtown when one protester violently drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters; and Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, the two Virginia State Police troopers killed in a fatal helicopter crash.
To the 1,000 first responders and 300 Virginia State Police troopers and National Guard in Charlottesville this weekend: we thank you for your service.
To the world just learning about UVA or Charlottesville, Virginia for the first time: this is not a reflection of who we are. This is not my UVA, and this is not our Charlottesville. The white supremacist protesters are not from this community, and many have travelled across the country to bring their hate and bigotry to our college town. We hope you won’t condemn our community, but instead, offer us a hand as we look towards rebuilding and shining.
To the Charlottesville and University communities: we’re proud of the many of you who have spoken—loudly—against what we’ve seen this weekend. You continue to be in our thoughts and we look to you as leaders towards proving to the nation that our community is stronger than what transpired this weekend. Though it’s an unfair burden for you to bear, we know you’ll prove us right, because we know the true UVA and Charlottesville. This is my UVA. This is our Charlottesville.
We are suspending our coverage of Virginia athletics though Monday, August 14, in hopes that we all take a moment and reflect on this past weekend. As a community, we’re better than what we saw coming out of Charlottesville, and now it’s time to prove it.
-- The Streaking the Lawn Editorial Staff