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The Conversation: How Charlottesville has exposed competing narratives in America’s cultural memory

English 18 August 2017

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Dr Lucy Bond, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster, has written an article for The Conversation discussing how the recent Charlottesville’s attack exposes American’s long history of racial violence.

In her article, Dr Lucy Bond explained that the recent deadly events in Charlottesville showed America’s long history of racial violence and the increase of sectarian nature of American politics.

She mentioned particular examples of narratives which seem to prove the divided and fragile culture of memory in America. From slavery to Black Lives Matter, the story of race in America is a divisive narrative, rooted in contested cultures of memory.”

She added: “The recent revival of white supremacism, and the opposition it has engendered, is the latest chapter in this turbulent history. But the emergence of neo-Nazi organisations such as Vanguard America – and the repurposing of fascist symbols and slogans – also threatens to unsettle a different culture of memory that, until now, has gone largely uncontested: the story of World War II and the United States’ historic opposition to fascism.”

Dr Lucy Bond also pointed at the controversial reaction of President Donald Trump following the Charlottesville’s events. “What is unusual about Charlottesville, by contrast, is Trump’s refusal to resoundingly condemn the far right protesters.”

She concluded: “Of course, America is not the only nation to be confronted with the rise of neo-Nazism, but it is clear that the Trump administration has created an environment in which racist organisations can thrive with apparent impunity.”

Read the full article on The Conversation official website.


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