Charlottesville showed us an almost unrecognizable country over the weekend.
In that pretty, usually quiet Virginia city, the flaming torches, gun-toting marchers, and ugly, hateful chants — instigated by far-right outsiders and outliers — were “disturbing and sickening,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in Boston on Monday.
We can’t think of two more apt descriptions.
“It’s disturbing and sickening to turn on the news and see that there are people in this country who believe that the color of their skin or their place of birth makes them superior to their neighbors, and we as a commonwealth flatly denounce and reject this intolerance,” the governor said during a press conference about what could be a similar rally planned for Saturday in Boston.
The events in Charlottesville were also unusual. Unlike a surprise attack, such as when Dylann Roof slayed nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church two years ago, a sense of foreboding grew starting Friday night. The frightening clashes that erupted then and the next day sent people across the country into an unmooring sense of helplessness — and then, thankfully, for many, the opposite of helplessness.