Monday, August 12, 2019


Two years ago today (August 12, 2017), the two-day "Unite the Right" rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, attended by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Klan members, and others from the far-right, culminated in the murder of Heather Heyer, age 32, a counter-protester.

The act of terrorism which killed Ms. Heyer (and injured many others) remains a deeply sad and terrible moment in America's history.

I have mentioned, in previous posts, that I lived in Charlottesville--a beautiful, wonderful city--for several years. I moved there in 1995, to host a radio program; the program ended in 1997, but I stayed in the city until the beginning of 2001.

I think about Charlottesville often.  There are a great many things I enjoyed about living there--including getting to know (because of the radio program) a number of the city's excellent print and broadcast journalists.

One was Hawes Spencer, who during my time in the city was editor of a popular Charlottesville newspaper, the C-Ville Weekly.  He later founded and edited another local weekly, The Hook.  More recently, as a Charlottesville-based freelance writer, his byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Beast and other publications.  He also reports for Virginia public radio, and teaches journalism at Virginia's James Madison University.

In 2018, he brought out an impressive book about what took place in Charlottesville in 2017, titled Summer of Hate: Charlottesville, USA (University of Virginia Press).