Charlottesville, Virginia, was top of mind this week after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally there on Saturday.
Through HuffPost’s chat bot on Facebook Messenger, which features daily news roundups from our Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, we asked readers to share their thoughts on our stories about Charlottesville and President Donald Trump’s response to it. Here’s what they said:
“I’m an African American female that would prefer NOT to destroy such historical monuments but instead place it in a museum. Those that desire to have this piece of history available will still have access and history will be persevered. Removing these reminders from the public will be a HUGE first step in the right direction to help end the ongoing race wars. Hopefully placing these into museums may restore some peace and give some sort of hope that we will be able to move forward as ONE country and one human race that is sincerely willing to do better in this generation.” – Emia Johnson-Sorell
“These statues represent part of our history. But since they raise such negative feelings, I think they should be destroyed. Relocating them doesn’t solve the problem. It just raises concerns in another part of the country. Or, the statues that are made of similar material could be broken down to create another statue, one which represents our feelings today as a united country.” – Judy Wilson
“That’s why the statues were ERECTED in the first place! Removing them cannot change our history. Let’s use them to explain who we were and who we are becoming.” – Grace Christianson
“My take is this: neither side is right. Both are wrong. Racism and violence cannot and should not be tolerated by anyone in office, especially the president. As I said many times before, he was the orchestrator of this madness when he encouraged it during his campaign, at his many rallies, and now with his comments. If we’re to get rid of this garbage, we need to get rid of him, and anyone else who condones this type of behavior.” – Lester Hall
″[The] president’s remarks are very disappointing and not unifying the country and downright racist . I am interested in knowing if his support base is growing based on these comments or shrinking or remain[s] the same?” – Ramaa Purushothaman
“I think we need to look at the city and state levels as to what can be done to stop encouraging hate groups. While we can’t ban free speech completely, we should ban universal symbols of hate, [for] example the Nazi swastika and Confederate flag. It won’t fix it, but it’s a start. Also the media tries to create false equivalence to drum up ratings. That has got to stop. The right came to town under the banner of ‘Unite the Right,’ and with that they brought guns, torches and Nazi chants. Americans are treating it like an abstract sporting event and don’t get it.” – James Amin
“My heart goes out to her mother, trying to stand strong. To me, this young woman is just as much a hero as anyone killed in the line of duty in the military, or the recent firefighters killed by falling trees in Montana. Since this is what her mother is focusing on, honor her stand on this and focus on the cause rather than the grief.” – Darlisa Black
“I feel sad she died [by] a violent senseless act of cowardice by someone so rigid in thought, so afraid of other, so afraid of change, that they saw the protesters as simply targets, not as they truly were: living, breathing, and loving beings. I think that’s a problem; that one is so scared of change that they become blinded by hate for change.” – Kevin Spelts
The above quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. To weigh in on the week’s top stories, chat us on Messenger.