SFGATE: Historian on racist violence: ‘Trump gave them permission’

Historian on racist violence: ‘Trump gave them permission’
Published on August 13, 2017 at 01:47PM by By CLAIRE GALOFARO, Associated Press

Kevin Boyle, an American history professor at Northwestern University, watched it unfold, the feeling in his gut both horror and a sense that the racial tension bubbling for years had finally, almost inevitably, begun boiling over. Historians and political scientists have been warning that American politics had become a pressure cooker, full of racial tension building once again to the point of a deadly clash, like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday that claimed three lives. White supremacy has always lurked in America’s shadow, said Boyle, whose teaching focuses on the history of racial violence and civil rights. Saturday’s chaos erupted around what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade — more than 1,000 neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members who descended on the city of Charlottesville to “take America back” by rallying against plans to remove a confederate statue. The day turned deadly when a car plowed into a crowd of peaceful anti-racism protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Days later, anti-fascists hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and ignited a massive bonfire at the University of California at Berkeley to protest a planned speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Violent clashes have piled up since: 11 arrested after fights broke out at New York University when the founder of a right-wing men’s organization was scheduled to speak; clashes outside one of Spencer’s appearances at Auburn University; a shouting match between the two sides in Pikeville, Kentucky; confrontations in New Orleans when the city moved to remove a confederate monument; police opening fire with stun grenades and arresting more than a dozen during conflicts in Portland. The Daily Stormer, a popular alt-right website, published a story in the run-up to the Charlottesville gathering, calling on followers to leave white hoods or Nazi costum

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