On August 12th, 2017 there was a "Unite the Right" march of white nationalist and other right-wing groups (KKK, Neo-nazis, and white supremacists) that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. These individuals were protesting against the removal of local confederate monuments, primarily the Robert E. Lee Statue in Emancipation Park. I arrived at Emancipation Park around 11 AM as a counter-protester to voice my opinion on racial tensions and to literally stand up for what I believe in. I was only there for a few minutes before I was hit with water bottles, maced with pepper spray, and had derogoratoy slurs hurled at me. Just forty-five minutes in to the rally our Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency to aid state response to violence. About fifteen minutes or so after that I was brutally attacked by white supremacists in the parking garage right beside the Charlottesville Police Station. I was chased and beat with metal poles. I was knocked unconscious repeatedly. Every time I went to stand up I was knocked back down. VIDEO
If it was not for my friends that I came with I would have been beaten to a pulp. No law enforcement stepped in to help me. Once I was dragged off to some near by steps I was taken to the designated area for injured protesters & counter-protesters. My injuries were too extensive to be treated at the scene so I was taken to the ER at Martha Jefferson Hospital. I was diagnsoed with a concussion, an ulnar fracture, and had to receive eight staples in my head. I also have a laceration across my right eyebrow, abrasions on my knees & elbows, and a chipped tooth. I'm so blessed to be alive to tell my story and to show the world that racism is very much still alive. The funds will be used to pay for my medical bills. I appreciate the support from my friends, family, and the news platforms that have reached out to check on me. We will not let this fade & disappear. People are carrying real hate in their hearts for the Black Community and I refuse to just let it happen. God Bless & thank you all again!
Photo By: Ian Frank