Walking down the streets of Charlottesville or on grounds, endless tributes to Heather Heyer are on display. The city is scarred by recent violence that have left Hoos and Charlottesville locals worried about the image of the once quiet city they call home.
Charlottesville was front and center on people’s TV and computer screens in August. Viewers were left wondering what would happen to the city as it descended into chaos. WUVA News took to the streets of Washington DC to ask what residents there think of Charlottesville.
DC resident Eric French was familiar with the city as he used to live nearby in Richmond. When the topic of the Unite the Right rally came up, he replied: “It has nothing to do with the city. People picked it because it’s the southern part of Virginia.
“[White supremacists] wanted to do what they wanted to do and other people wanted to protest it,” he concluded.
WUVA asked a man named Alex what he knew about Charlottesville, as he texted at the his regular bus stop. “I don’t know anything about it… I know its in Virginia!”
Many were like Alex and had never heard of Charlottesville, did not want to answer, or were in a rush. One DC resident familiar with Charlottesville however, insisted that his identity with Charlottesville had not changed since the August violence.
“When I visited Charlottesville about 8 months ago it was a small quaint town, it was beautiful and I enjoyed traveling there,” reflected a Washingtonian.
“It is a little bit disappointing hearing of the recent protest there but my opinion hasn’t really changed of Charlottesville and I think for the most part a lot of the people involved were from other areas and don’t really represent the people of Charlottesville,” he continued.
There is no way of knowing if most people share the sentiments WUVA heard in DC but those who were familiar with Charlottesville still see it as the beautiful and quiet city that it was before controversy struck.