Instead of Tiki torches, the thousands of marchers who gathered at the University of Virginia on Wednesday night held candles in upside-down cups, passing the flame around like you might see at an Easter vigil.
They chanted "love wins" instead of "Jews will not replace us!"
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 17, 2017
And they sang, "The Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," "We Shall Overcome," and also "Amazing Grace," a song written by a former slave-ship captain after he came to see that slavery is evil.
Those on the lawn are now singing Amazing Grace. pic.twitter.com/1aVVaouw71
— Allison Wrabel (@craftypanda) August 17, 2017
Organizers of the event, which also paid respects to the three people who died during the "Unite the Right" melee in Charlottesville on Saturday — anti-racism protester Heather Hayer and Virginia State Police troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates — said they spread the word through text message, phone calls, and word of mouth, intentionally keeping it off social media so as not to attract any disruptive groups. Participants called it cathartic. "I have struggled to let go of my anger over what was done to us last weekend," tweeted UVA Dean of Students Allen Grove, "but seeing 5,000 of my fellow citizens tonight sure helped."
The University of Virginia also made it clear which of the two marches, each following the same route, it wanted to claim as its own. Peter Weber
— UVA (@UVA) August 17, 2017
Media Matters' quick compare-and-contrast of President Trump's combative press conference Tuesday alongside previous Fox News segments revealed the president borrowed heavily from the conservative news network for his talking points.
That line Trump used about waiting to get all "the facts" before he made a statement condemning the violence of white nationalists at the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia? Fox said it first. Trump's claim that there was violence on "both sides"? Fox said that too. His mentions of the alt-left? Fox News' Sean Hannity loves to talk about that. His insistence that there were some "very fine people" marching alongside white supremacists and neo-Nazis? Yep, that's a Fox favorite. Even Trump's hypothetical question about whether monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should also be taken down because, as he pointed out, they were slave owners, was first asked on Fox.
More than 1,000 people attended the memorial service for Heather Heyer of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Wednesday, with friends and relatives recalling her passion for justice and helping others, ABC News reports. Heyer, 32, was killed Saturday when a white nationalist demonstrator rammed a crowd of counter-protesters with his car.
"She wanted equality and in this issue of the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate," Heyer's father, Mark Heyer, said in his eulogy. He went on to say, "And for my part, we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that is what the Lord would want us to do — is just love one another."
Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer’s father: “She loved people. She wanted equality… She wanted to put down hate.” https://t.co/ZWu7iGOC1A
— CNN (@CNN) August 16, 2017
Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, told the crowd that she could have had a small funeral to remember her daughter, "but that's not who Heather was. Anyone who knew Heather said, 'Yep, this is the way she had to go, big and large.' Had to have the world involved, because that's my child."
She added: "We don't all have to die. We don't all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what: You just magnified her."
Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer’s mother: “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what: you just magnified her.” pic.twitter.com/qplRC8g2lc
— CNN (@CNN) August 16, 2017
"Let's channel ... anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear, but let's channel that difference, that anger, into righteous action," Bro went on, adding: "Say to yourself, 'What can I do to make a difference?' That's how you're going to make my child's death worthwhile." Watch below. Jeva Lange
Heather Heyer's mom: “Say to yourself ‘What can I do to make a difference?’ and that's how you're going to make my child's death worthwhile" pic.twitter.com/1sZxmDzc9t
— ABC News (@ABC) August 16, 2017
Fox & Friends brought on a Republican and a Democrat to debate Confederate monuments. Instead, they joined together to condemn Trump.
What Fox & Friends anchor Abby Huntsman seemingly envisioned as a debate between the right and the left over the removal of Confederate monuments instead became a teary-eyed condemnation of President Trump's remarks about the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Democratic political analyst Wendy Osefo spoke first on Wednesday's episode of Fox & Friends, and she refused to reduce the discussion to the debate over Confederate statues. "It's beyond a monument. This is about hatred. This is about white supremacy," Osefo said. She noted how unsettling it was to hear the president not directly condemn white nationalists, but instead blame "both sides" for the violence.
Huntsman turned to Republican political analyst Gianno Caldwell for his opinion, echoing Trump's argument that there are "good people on both sides" and wondering how we can learn from history "if we tear everything down." But Caldwell didn't take the bait. "You know, I come today with a very heavy heart. Last night I couldn't sleep at all because President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country," Caldwell said. "The very moral fabric in which we've made progress when it comes to race relations in America, he's failed us."
Both Osefo and Caldwell teared up as Caldwell continued speaking. He specifically called out Trump's claim at his "disturbing" press conference Tuesday that there were "some very fine people" marching alongside the white nationalist protesters. "Mr. President, good people don't pal around with Nazis and white supremacists," Caldwell said. "Maybe they don't consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, but certainly they hold those views."
Anyone who defends Trump's remarks, Caldwell concluded, is "completely lost" and potentially "morally bankrupt."
Watch the gripping segment below. Becca Stanek
Joe Scarborough claims Trump has 'officially become the president of the white nationalist movement'
Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough did nothing to hide his disgust over President Trump's comments Tuesday regarding Charlottesville. "He has now officially become the president not only of America but also of the white nationalist movement," Scarborough told viewers Wednesday.
Lawmakers from both parties, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, took issue with Trump's moral equivalency Tuesday between neo-Nazis and those opposed to them, and Trump's statement that some of the alt-right protesters are "very nice people." Trump's comments received positive reviews from former KKK leader David Duke and alt-right organizer Richard Spencer.
"The president has chosen sides and it is very clear, not only morally …but also politically, he has chosen the wrong side," Scarborough went on. While the host made clear not everyone who voted for Trump is a white supremacist, Scarborough added: "There are a lot of people across the country asking, 'What the hell did I vote for? … I didn't want a Clinton or a Bush in the White House, but I sure as hell didn't want a Duke in the White House.' And that's what they've got." Watch below. Jeva Lange
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 16, 2017
Watch this New York Democratic congressional candidate's stirring ad about fighting the opioid epidemic
This summer's hot new movie is — a congressional candidate's campaign ad? Democrat Boyd Melson announced Tuesday that he is running for Congress in New York's 11th district with a powerful ad that bears more than a passing resemblance to a Marvel movie. The three-minute spot shows Melson's rise to becoming the world military boxing champion, his subsequent struggles with pain medications after surgery, and finally his fight against New York City's opioid epidemic in his current race for the House seat.
The ad was cut by the same team behind the campaign ad for Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who is running against Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a longshot bid. Melson might need the Hollywood treatment too: "The [11th] district is currently represented by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.), who won his election in 2016 by over 25 points," Politico writes.
Grab your popcorn and watch the ad below. Jeva Lange
Sixty-five years ago, Joseph Stalin had a stroke and died. Judging by the "loose" interpretation of events on display in the trailer for Veep creator Armando Iannucci's forthcoming film, The Death of Stalin, the ensuing battle for leadership in Stalin's vacuum was darkly hilarious.
Despite being a Russian period piece, the actors — including Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rupert Friend — noticeably don't use accents. In fact, if you're looking for much historical accuracy at all, this might be the film to skip. However, if you're on board with a brilliantly absurd political satire, The Death of Stalin opens in theaters on Oct. 20 and you can watch the trailer below. Jeva Lange
— The Death of Stalin (@Death_of_Stalin) August 11, 2017
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman and early exit expert Jason Chaffetz pointed a finger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday, blasting the Kentucky senator's decision not to cancel August recess. “It's infuriating," Chaffetz, a former Republican congressman for Utah, told his colleagues. "Mitch McConnell went out in July and touted that the Senate was going to stay in session through the end of next week. And yet, they adjourned early."
Chaffetz might know a thing or two about ghosting on legislative duties, considering he abruptly retired at the end of June to join Fox News. As Mediaite put it without missing any of the irony: "Jason Chaffetz, who bailed early from Congress, rips Congress for bailing early."
Chaffetz, at least, didn't seem too self-conscious about his criticism. He added: "When you have 12 legislative days on the calendar going through September, and you have to go through the long list you just highlighted, how do you go home? […] The budget was supposed to be done in March. Do you know of any company anywhere in the world where if you didn't have your budget done and you're in August and it was due in March, that you'd say, 'Well, let's go take a few weeks off?'" Watch below. Jeva Lange