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Charlottesville's white awakening: 'We were living in a bubble,' say residents

Ariana Grande backstage before the concert. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

  • On Sunday, Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams helped the Virginia town recover from last month’s violence – which some white residents admitted had been a serious wake-up call.
  • Related: 5 Things the Mainstream Media Missed About Charlottesville

Lois Beckett in Charlottesville, The Guardian 25 September 2017 | Inside the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, a succession of pop stars were telling local residents that “Love trumps hate” and “You will not dethrone love.” Dave Matthews, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake were holding a free concert to help Charlottesville recover from the violent white supremacist and neo-Nazi protests that rocked the town last month.

But as he smoked a cigarette by the stadium concession stands Sunday evening, Jack (who did not want his last name used) wasn’t talking about love. He was talking about his vote. The 25-year-old, who has lived in Charlottesville most of his life, is a conservative in a liberal town. He said he had voted for Donald Trump, hoping that a political outsider would bring change.,-L.png?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=47097aa032a83ef4a6a94ef70ee90af8 Lois Beckett  is a senior reporter covering gun policy, criminal justice and the conservative movement in the United States.

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5 Things the Mainstream Media Missed About Charlottesville, Shane Burley and Alexander Reed Ross, In These Times Neo-Nazis and white supremacists scuffled gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • We can’t ignore the long history of white supremacist violence—and anti-fascist organizing.
  • Related: How To Fight Establishment Propaganda Machines Like NPR  And Win