A student photographed at the Charlottesville protest this weekend, carrying a flaming torch, has denied being racist.
Peter Cvjetanovic, a 20-year-old student at the University of Nevada, was pictured at a march on Friday evening, prior to the weekend's now infamous 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The march was in protest at plans to remove a statue of Confederacy general Robert E. Lee.
Marchers carried Confederate flags and banners, and one group carried flaming torches.
One counter-protestor, Heather Heyer, was killed when a car was driven into a crowd on Saturday.
Cvjetanovic's picture has since gone viral, after Twitter users went back to an old trolling trope 'Please do not share this image'.
Contributing editor at Vanity Fair Kurt Eichenwald was one of those urging users not to retweet the image.
Over 350,000 people did not heed Eichenwald's request.
Peter Cvjetanovic, a white nationalist, is upset that this photo of him has gone viral. So be nice: dont retweet th… https://t.co/NXMmHcsT75
A similar post on reddit, has also received 54.5 thousand upvotes.
After the photo went viral, Cvjetanovic spoke to local Nevada station Channel 2 news, and denied he is 'an angry racist'.
I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture,
Specifically addressing the statue he said:
It is not perfect; there are flaws to it, of course. However I do believe that the replacement of the statue will be the slow replacement of white heritage within the United States and the people who fought and defended and built their homeland
Cvjetanovic, although denying he is an 'angry racist' does refer to himself as a white nationalist.
I did not expect the photo to be shared as much as it was. I understand the photo has a very negative connotation. But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo.
As a white nationalist, I care for all people. We all deserve a future for our children and for our culture. White nationalists aren’t all hateful; we just want to preserve what we have.
Another photo, appearing to show Cvjetanovic at an event for Young Republicans, has also been shared multiple times.
@SenDeanHeller what are you doing hanging out w/Nazi White Supremacist Peter Cvjetanovic? https://t.co/9D5axa55VR