Fundraiser For Dre Harris, An Injured Charlottesville Counter-Protester, Raises Over $100,000 In Less Than 24 Hours
On Saturday, a young man named Dre Harris was brutally beaten by a group of men in Charlottesville, Virginia, as he was attending a counter-protest to condemn a white nationalist rally in the city. Harris unfortunately suffered extensive injuries from the assault and has many medical bills as a result. Harris recently started a fundraiser to help cover these expenses — and it has already raised over $100,000.
According to The Root, Harris is a twenty-year-old from Suffolk, Virginia, who moved to Charlottesville two years ago. The young man initially moved to the area to work as an instructional assistant in the special education program at a Charlottesville high school. He also is an aspiring hip-hop artist.
On Saturday, Harris attended a counter-protest against the white nationalist "Unite the Right" rally that was occurring in the city. According to Harris, at some point he was "rushed" in a parking garage by a group of white men, who chased him and beat him with metal poles. Harris' horrific beating was captured on video and in a photo, which was widely-shared online. Harris stated via an interview with The Root and via his GoFundMe page that his friends who had accompanied him to the counter-protest protected him from further assault — and that no law enforcement had stepped in to assist him.
As Harris noted via his aforementioned GoFundMe page, he suffered severe injuries during the parking garage attack and, resultantly, was taken to Martha Jefferson Hospital. Harris indicated that he was subsequently diagnosed with a forearm fracture and a concussion. He also received staples in his head and had abrasions throughout his body.
While Harris' GoFundMe page has already surpassed its goal of $50,000 (indeed, it reached over $100,000 in less than 24 hours), the fundraiser is still open and you can absolutely still donate to assist Harris with his recovery if you are so inclined. To donate to Harris, you can go directly to his GoFundMe page, click "Donate Now," and type in your desired donation amount.
Harris has expressed deep gratitude to those who have supported him through this awful experience and says he feels blessed to have the opportunity to show others that racism is still a rampant problem. As he noted in his own words,
I'm so blessed to be alive to tell my story and to show the world that racism is very much still alive ... We will not let this fade & disappear. People are carrying real hate in their hearts for the Black Community and I refuse to just let it happen. God Bless & thank you all again!
Harris has certainly exhibited bravery and fortitude during this very trying time. Hopefully the support he has received (and continues to receive) during this fundraiser will demonstrate to him that there are many people who stand in unity with him against the bigotry he experienced this past weekend.