Jennifer Lawrence is identifying the Charlottesville white supremacists online

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  • Thousands are naming and shaming those involved in the rally

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    While the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, penned a poignant response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville last week, it took current President Donald Trump a long time to respond to and condemn the devastating rally that saw one woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, killed. In fact, author J. K Rowling took to Twitter to call out Trump’s response and said what we were all thinking.

    The march on the evening of Friday 11th August at the University of Virginia saw white supremacists carrying torches, wearing Neo-Nazi symbols and donning t-shirts with Trump’s campagin slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’. The next day, a ‘Unite the Right’ rally was held against the removal of the statue of a far right leader, Robert E. Lee, and 20-year-old James Field Jr ploughed his car into a group of peaceful protesters who were opposing the demonstration.

    The events shocked and outraged the world, and a tweet from Obama regarding the rally quickly became the most liked of all time. It was a quote from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, which reads: ‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion.

    ‘People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’

    However, many have noted that the collection of largely white men carrying tikki torches and carrying out violent attacks did so without covering their faces – and this has been interpreted as arrogance, with those involved assuming that they would be protected despite their overtly racist actions.

    In response, many have been naming and shaming those involved online. An account, Yes, You’re Racist, has been created in an attempt to identify individuals, and so far has put pressure on their work places and schools to make them accountable.

    Celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer have joined the ranks of people sharing images of those at the rally, with JLaw posting on her Facebook page: ‘These are the faces of hate. Look closely and post anyone you find. You can’t hide with the internet you pathetic cowards!’

    While the posts have been liked and shared thousands of times, many have slammed the idea of shaming people online, citing freedom of speech.

    However, others have pointed out that these individuals protested publicly and the fact that they are promoting Nazi and KKK ideals means they should be held accountable.

    Others suggest that by letting it happen you become complicit in their hate preaching, and are therefore encouraging people to come together and publicly call out their actions.

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