In the wake of all of the Charlottesville controversy, the only piece of news that gave me a full scope and understanding of what exactly went down was the below Vice piece by the reporter Elle Reeve. If you haven’t watched it, please do so immediately (added below).
There’s a lot to take in with this short, documentary-style report, and it is not an easy one to watch, but once you have can we please take a minute to talk about Elle Reeve.
With everyone (including the POTUS) downplaying the events in Charlottesville, discussing it as a mere protest about a Confederate statue, the world was damn lucky that amidst it all was this fearless women (meet Elle) documenting the why, how and what of the events to follow.
Elle manages to build a conversational relationship with the leaders of the Alt Right and KKK, and through interviews and footage exposes the reasons this march happened, and what’s to come in the future from these groups.
There are times (as Elle discusses in post interviews) where she felt afraid. They had expressed their hatred for women, for the media (thanks Trump) and were armed at ALL TIMES.
But what stood out to me was the strength she shows, the kind of strength and constraint that quite frankly no other reporter in the world has managed to achieve with this group. You can see in her face that she is going to tell this story to the world no matter what it takes.
Elle contradicts so many pre-conceived stereotypes about women in their careers (we’re too emotional, we’re not strong enough, we can’t talk/relate with “the boys”). In fact, I believe that it was Elle’s female qualities and approach that actually got this story out to the world when no other reporter really has. She resisted anger, even when you could imagine (and almost see) her blood boiling under her skin. She showed them no fear. She allowed the other party to talk, and she genuinely listened, and in turn they listened to her and ultimately let her in finally allowing her to expose them to the world for what they really are.
I’m pleased that the young women of this world have yet another female role model of this calibre to show them that they too can be brave and change the world.