Photo of Confederate monument 'guard' hugging BLM protester goes viral
A photo showing a Confederate statue defender embracing a Black Lives Matter protester in Lynchburg, Virginia, is going viral amid countrywide debate surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments.
The incredible moment was captured on Friday after the Virginia Flaggers, a group that devotes its time to defending Confederate memorials, got wind that the online hacker group Anonymous had called for 11 monuments to be destroyed, according to WMUR.
In response to the threat, the Virginia Flaggers stationed "monument guards" around the Jubal Early Monument, a Confederate memorial at Fort Early in Lynchburg.
But when a few Black Lives Matter protesters also showed up at the monument, things took a turn that no one could have expected.
"Late in the evening, one of the monument guards noticed this woman, who later identified as a black lives matter supporter, trembling and shaking with fear," the Virginia Flaggers wrote on Facebook.
"He said he could tell she honestly feared them. He walked up to her, arms outstretched, said, 'We are not KKK' and she grabbed him and wouldn't let go. He explained that they were here to stop all of this and prevent another Charlottesville. He said, 'If I were KKK would I hold you like this?' And she said, 'No.'"
The touching photograph has since received nearly 4,500 shares and over 4,100 likes, as well as hundreds of comments applauding the unnamed man and woman for their willingness to listen to the other side.
"They talked for some time and he said we have to work together to stop this mess," the post continued. "It serves as a reminder to all of us that God can use the most troubling times to shine light and truth, even in near darkness."