Violence in Charlottesville concerns college students in Northeast Wisconsin

Posted at 7:14 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 23:13:44-04

Charlottesville, Virginia may be hundreds of miles away, but the violence that erupted there over the weekend has worried people living in Northeast Wisconsin, particularly college students.

At UWGB, many students who planned to participate in upcoming peace rallies are scared about their physical safety because of what happened at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville Saturday, according to UWGB Diversity Director Mai Lo Lee.

"I really care about their personal safety so I advise them about the personal safety aspects of rallies, but then also professionally this is great for young people to attend and to see what kind of words to action things they can do at these peace rallies," Lee explained.

Students were not only concerned with the violence, but the message of the rally in Charlottesville.

"Concerning, considering its going to be 2018 and it feels like the 1960s," said Sarah Servais, a UWGB sophomore. "I didn't ever think I'd ever have to see it."

Former UWGB professor and political expert Michael Kraft said he believes many of the views of the alternative right in the protests were fueled during the presidential campaign.

"President Trump took a position that all sides are equally to blame, meaning the protestors and anti-protestors are equal to blame, but it was the white nationalist who drove the car into the crowd," Kraft said. "Many wanted the president to treat this as a case of domestic terrorism and racism."

President Trump came out Monday and specifically condemned the white nationalist groups involved in Saturday's violence.

"Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said.