The groups’ twin rallies, which drew some 2,000 attendees collectively, spoke to the raw racial tensions recently reignited by the South Carolina legislature’s decision to remove a Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. This photo, at least, provided a testament to their shared humanity.
In the image, an unidentified older man wore a T-shirt representing the National Socialist Movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called “the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi group in the United States.” The shirt was emblazoned with a swastika and the letters N.S.M. Officer Leroy Smith holds the man’s arm to support him as he helps him out of the heat.
Over the course of the sweltering July day, 23 people required medical attention, many for heat exhaustion, according to the Associated Press. Five were arrested.
The photo was shot by Rob Godfrey, the deputy chief of staff to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R). As of Monday afternoon, it had been retweeted almost 5,100 times since Godfrey posted it to his personal Twitter account on Saturday.
not an uncommon example of humanity in SC: Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down. pic.twitter.com/GoF23r3mRe
— Rob Godfrey (@RobGodfrey) July 18, 2015