DECATUR, Alabama — Several Alabama voters blame President Barack Obama for the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville this weekend because, they say, he sowed division in American politics.
Attendees at a rally for Rep. Mo Brooks, a conservative House Republican running for Senate, in Decatur on Monday said they were confident that philanthropist George Soros was bankrolling both sides of this weekend's violent clashes.
And on conservative Alabama talk radio, Black Lives Matter activists quickly emerged as a top culprit in the bloodshed. Callers, citing Facebook posts, claimed that BLM protesters had thrown bricks at the car that then hit and killed Heather Heyer.
“There’s a lot of wrong on both sides, and unfortunately all the liberal media talks about is the wrong on one side,” said Tom Cowles, 61, a retired engineer from a wealthy section of northeast Alabama.
On Tuesday, I talked to a few dozen people at three campaign events for three conservative Senate candidates about Charlottesville. I also listened for three hours to 101.1 FM Yellowhammer News, a conservative talk radio station in Alabama. While nearly all decried the acts of violence and said they rejected white hate groups, the Alabama conservatives also blamed the mainstream media for ignoring the violence of the left, argued that the Ku Klux Klan was originally an organization of the left, and complained about Black Lives Matter.
I recorded our conversations; the transcripts of their answers are below.
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