This happened because white supremacists are scared that they are losing their power. They acted upon their extreme racism and antisemitism in violent ways which has been an ongoing issue in the US for years. This proves that white supremacy is still a very prominent issue in this country. With this happening in Charlottesville and the storming of the capital in 2021 it is almost guaranteed that something like this will happen again in the future, especially when we just recently had a president like Trump who would incite this behavior. I think that a main reason that this is happening is because the white supremacists feel that they have found a community that is vast enough for them to be confident enough to take their bigotry out in public. They genuinely feel that they have the power and the numbers to accomplish their bigoted goals. Another problem is that these white supremacists are so closed minded and fixed in their own racist and antisemitic mindsets that it seems that nothing will get them to think otherwise. I believe that what happened in Charlottesville will continue to happen as long as these people have this community.
Who is the we and who is the they - Charlottesville
The event in Charlottesville and the Capital took place because (mainly) white men feel the loss of their power. But you have to realize that even women and people we'd consider now non-white people were also a part of these protests. White men feared the loss of their power, while women and poc joined them to not be victimized by them ; they don't want to be on the "losing" side. As time goes on, more people would be classified as white and would be more empowered to create similar or even worse events.
We and They
This happened because a group of people, who, since the late 21th century, have basically been pushed to the corners of society, and not allowed to really be a part of our society. While these people have always existed, their beliefs have never really been accepted into our general political culture, and have largely been ignored. However, more recently, especially with the election of Donald Trump, these kinds of ideals seem to be becoming more acceptable to the general public, which allowed these people, who most likely met over the internet, to actually join together in the real world. As to what it portends for the future, I think that acts similar to this usually hurt these groups more than they actually help them. Before Charlottesville, there was a general worry about white supremacy, but I do think that people didn't actually think that it was a widespread, actively dangerous problem. This event kind of revealed that these kinds of beliefs do still exist, and had a very strong reaction against it. It is also very clear that many of the people involved understood how their actions had been viewed so negatively by the public, and basically hid from what they did, denying their actions even after physical evidence was found.
I think that what happened in Charlottesville was caused by a group of people who believed that the white race was being replaced through some global conspiracy, run by jewish people. This also leads to another belief that they hold, that America, and probably many European countries, as inherently white, and belonging to and for, white people. Because of these beliefs, they decided that the only solution to their problem, which is imaginary, was to violently rise up and try to draw attention to their problem. These people see the world largely because they are stuck in an eco-chamber that repeats the same beliefs back at them, giving back to them what they basically want to hear. This starts at a small disenfranchisement with the society they live in, which leads to some community slowly introducing more "theories", about how the world actually works, and finally arrives to somebody actually believing many of these conspiracy theories, such as there being some sort of global conspiracy agianst the white race.
It seems like these large actions of political violence usually come in waves, shown somewhat by what happened in Charlottesville, the gap until January 6th, with few large scale acts of political violence taking place between them. These events also seem to build up, until they erupt violently. This occurred especially with January 6th, where people were served the same ideas that the election was rigged by some group to take away their power, leading to them eventually storming the capital. I think in general that something to the scope of January 6th will probably not happen again, mainly because of the incredibly large reaction against it, by people across the political spectrum, so I think that any other sorts of political violence will be on a smaller scale.
This was an outcome of a build up of so much loss. There had been so many deaths of innocent black boys, murdered by white police officers and men. The people of Charlottesville weren't just angry about a statue because he was a bad white man, they were mad about what that statue stood for and what it reminded them of. The alt-right groups took these things as a threat, and they have been just hiding and doing small acts of violence for so long but it wasn't really until this moment that it really came out. They had so many different intentions, whether it was trying to push Jews and black people out the country, or silencing them.
I think this did inevitably help factor into the Jan 6 riot, because with both of these events Trump was a man behind it, talking and instigating and never helping the "leftist" who were fighting injustices.
I believe that the US has had some idea of Us vs Them for a while. It began with the Natives when the colonies were founded. It continued with enslaved Africans brought over to the US. It continued with other ethnic groups, such as the Irish and Italians. An interesting point here, however, is how often the makeup of “us” changes. There was a period of time in this country where Italian immigrants, and other Europeans from that area, were not considered white. This is very well documented, and there is a long history of violent crimes committed against such people based on their ethnic background. Today, however, the consensus has shifted. Crimes and racial bias against Italians is seemingly non-existent, and I believe that this example is one of many that proves how flawed the Us vs Them theory is.
I think that when a specific ethnic group is singled out and attacked, it is usually because the perpetrators are upset about something and use that group as a scapegoat. Italians were once believed to be coming here and taking all the jobs, but now such anger is being directed towards those of hispanic origin. But this isn’t just a problem in the US. The Nazi party gained traction in the 1930s by blaiming the Jewish population for most of the problems Germany faced after the First World War. This racial stereotype led to the extermination of 6 million Jewish people. This example and many more serve as a stark warning to us all, that if we do not learn from our past it is bound to repeat itself. All of the false reporting around so many issues in the US has real world consequences. January 6th was an attack on democracy which had its foundation in a lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Charlottesville was a deadly protest which had its foundation in racist stereotypes. If we don’t learn from what has happened and try to move forward, we are bound for these events to become more frequent, and more dangerous.