Norfolk professor says she predicted controversy over Confederate monuments

Posted at 12:02 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 12:07:51-04

NORFOLK, Va. - As the fallout over the White Nationalist rally and attack on counter-protesters in Charlottesville unfolds, a local history professor said she saw this coming.

"About 20 years ago, I was telling my students we were probably entering the last gasp of the elite white men, and that's the period in which you see a demographic shift in American society, and because of that, you're going to see probably a backlash," said Norfolk State University history professor Dr. Cassandra Newby.  "Unfortunately, my predictions have been more than correct."

During her appearance on News 3 This Morning, Dr. Newby gave historical context to the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments across the country.

The rally Saturday in Charlottesville began as a White Nationalist protest against the removal of a Confederate statue.  Police said one of those protesters rammed his car into the opposing crowed, killing Heather Heyer.

"What you're seeing is this sort of remaking of white supremacy," said Dr. Newby.  "This notion that slavery wasn't really an issue during the Civil War [and] it was all about the Christian gentlemen who were fighting for the honor of their areas.  And so Trump is trying to recast the White Nationalists in that light."

"Starting in the 1960s [people] began to push back against this notion that the Civil War was not about slavery," explained Dr. Newby.  "From that point moving forward,  historians have been writing books and articles about the reality of our past, not just this mythology."

She continued "People are starting to challenge these older notions and you expect that in a new century."

Full Coverage: Protests and violence in Charlottesville