This article from Buzzfeed, published two days after the Charlottesville incident, remains the best account of the timeline of events that I have seen to date by a) someone who was actually there, and b) someone who is liberal to left leaning in their political biases. The principal problem I see with this article is that it starts off with the line “Yes, you can blame the Nazis,” and the proceeds to describe what sounds like a great deal of mutual combat with no clear aggressor being identified, except on the basis of ideological affiliation, i.e. the standard “Official Bad People” vs. “People with Good Intentions” narrative. In other words, a variation of the “there is no moral equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy” argument I used to get from right-wing Reaganite hawks when I would point out how US foreign policy during the Cold War was at least as aggressive as that of the USSR, and often more so given the superior wealth and military power of the US.
By Blake Montgomery
Yes, you can blame the Nazis.
The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia, finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.
Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the white supremacist threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?
The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous. Here are a few: