Photographing a White-Supremacist Attack

Some of the most dramatic scenes from last weekend’s neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville — images of white extremists beating a black man in a parking lot — were captured by photographer Zach Roberts who talked with Dennis J Bernstein.

White supremacists beating an African American man in Charlottesville, VA. August 12, 2017. (Copyright Zach Roberts/ — reproduced with permission)

Dennis J Bernstein

While many images of neo-Nazi violence from last Saturday’s riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, have gone viral around the world, the photographs taken by Zach Roberts, a fellow at, are particularly shocking in their documentation of the brutal beating of a young black special-education teacher in a parking garage about 50 feet from where police park their patrol cars.

At one point during the beating, one of the neo-Nazis pulled out what appeared to be a Glock 9 and brandished it, threatening Roberts and others who came rushing on the scene to rescue their friend from being beaten to death.

Dennis Bernstein: Thanks for joining us, Zach Roberts. Where were you Saturday as the white supremacists began to expand out over the city? You took some photography that might mean a lot to law enforcement if they planned to file charges in this case.

Zach Roberts: After the breakdown of the rally in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, the marchers started to take to the streets around 11:30. I ended up following them as they marched down Market Street. There were people on the sidewalks with signs saying “You’re not welcome here,” “Charlottesville is against white supremacy,” and so on.

A white supremacist brandishes a gun at a group of African-Americans who arrived to help their friend after he was beaten by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017. (Copyright Zach Roberts/ – reproduced with permission)

The white supremacists were yelling back racial slurs. Some of them were geared up with one-inch thick wooden dowels, with Confederate and Nazi-esque flags, helmets on, gas masks around their necks.

They were tooled up for violence. So when you hear people saying that…

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