If you’ve watched the news over the past days you know what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s been a week and I’m still not sure I’ve found the right words to say about what happened. I’m disgusted and angry. I knew that there were people out in the world who were filled with hatred but what happened last Saturday was truly terrifying. A group of white supremacists gathered for a rally to supposedly protest the tearing down of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a confederate general. Individuals opposing the white supremacists counter-protested. Violence ensued. A state of emergency was issued.
I watched what was going on, tears filling my eyes. I’m writing this in a local coffee shop and as I type it’s all I can do to not let more tears stream down my face.
What do we do next?
There’s been a lot of discussion on how to protest the alt-right. Some people believe we must be at every one of their rallies, speaking out against them. Others believe that we shouldn’t counter protest and give them more visibility. I don’t know what the right answer is. What I do know is that intolerance like theirs cannot and will not stand. We’ve seen what happens when people are silent. We cannot allow for a repeat of history.
So what can you do? I ask that you treat others with kindness and respect. We cannot fight violence with violence. We must use our words.
As Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.”
Continue to call your state representatives, organize peaceful protests, and have those difficult but so meaningful conversations with people you interact with. Do what you can to make this world a better place. A place where people are equal and safe.
Love you all and stay safe. Continue to fight for justice.