The horrifying events over the weekend in Charlottesville are just the latest events demonstrating the rise of hate in the United States.
White supremacists marched through the streets and the University of Virginia, wielding torches and explicitly aligning themselves with Nazis and the KKK, shouting racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant slogans on Friday. On Saturday, the white nationalists and supremacists engaged in violence against counter-protesters. A man, who is believed to be part of a white supremacist group, drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring many. Police arrested a suspect, who faces a hearing on August 14.
These events are shocking, and they are just the latest in a growing series of hateful attacks against people of color, women, immigrants, Jews, and Muslims. Just a week before, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington was bombed, and is part of a growing series of hate crimes against Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has reported that hate crimes against Muslims in 2017 increased 91 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
The lack of an appropriate response to these events from the Trump administration is also deeply disturbing, especially since a number of white nationalists and supremacists explicitly cite the administration as encouraging their behavior. In response to the horror in Charlottesville, President Trump condemned the violence “from many sides,” instead of calling out the white nationalists and supremacists. In response to the mosque bombing in Minnesota, the president has been silent, and White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, has suggested the attack was actually a fake.
With the White House failing to address hate, and actually acting as a driver of it, it is up to us to take action to support people who are under attack.
Vigils are being organized across the country in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Please join one of them to stand against hate.
And, take action in favor of acceptance, and support immigrants, religious minorities, and people of color in your communities every day. Green America’s weekly Resistance Summer actions will help you find actions you can take as a community member and with your dollars, for example, supporting minority and immigrant owned businesses.
Together, we can take action to create a country that is open and accepting.