Petersen Senate Sentinel: Charlottesville

Friends, Virginians, Citizens of Fairfax
As a young man, I spent many formative years in Charlottesville, a charming and historic college town. There I first got involved I politics, working on Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 1992. Like most college towns, politics in C’ville was left of center, but with a graciousness for political differences that was downright neighborly.
Twenty-five years later, Charlottesville has been marred by a truly shocking show of violence as white nationalist groups spent hours fighting with counter-protestors, eventually leading to the death of three innocents, two of whom were Virginia state troopers.
These riots continued over two days with innocent people being threatened and beaten. It was clear that the intention of the white nationalists was to intimidate and threaten minorities and students. I usually resist glib comparisons of today’s America to 1930’s Germany, but the inspiration for certain tactics like torchlight parades is both obvious and odious.
Killing or harming innocent people is an act of evil. There is no justification for it, political or otherwise. Frightening and attacking people based on their skin color or religion is an act of evil. Period.
Nobody over the last eight years has been a bigger free speech advocate, but “free speech” does not allow you to attend a race riot with clubs and brass knuckles. That should never happen.
This is not a fundraising request or attempt to build my email list. It’s a statement to our community about my honest feelings about this weekend’s event. And for what it’s worth my ancestors fought with General Lee — and he would never have participated in this crap.
JCP NOTES: On Friday, September 1st, I will host a fundraiser along with Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) on behalf of Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax at my law offices, 3970 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax VA 22030. Please rsvp to
In Fairfax, you can reach me at or 703-349-3361. Our address is PO Box 1066, Fairfax VA 22038.
Let us know how we can represent you better.
– Chap

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