UPDATE: From the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado:
We call on all who strive for a more just, anti-racist society to join Denver-area faith leaders, and activists at 2 PM Sunday at the Dr. King statue near the southwest corner of City Park. [Pols emphasis] Dr. King reminds us still that the “philosophy of nonviolent resistance is the only logical and moral approach to the solution of the race problem in the United States.”
Like many people of faith, we are horrified at the violent actions and rhetoric displayed by white nationalists in the last couple days. Following leaders of color in Colorado and nationwide, we must add that we are not surprised. This has been the reality for leaders in the Movement for Black Lives, the Sanctuary movement, and other movements for justice in this country for a long time, and–as there are people of color on our staff and embedded in our partnerships–all of us must face the depth of the hold that white supremacy has on our society and culture.
What happened Saturday in Charlottesville was a disgusting act of aggression and violence by a group of people–white and mostly male–who perceive themselves and their ‘group’ as losing power. They are under no real threat. No one is attacking them. No one is killing their children. They have had centuries long access to land, material wealth, physical health, education, and safety.
Many political and faith leaders have, and will, denounce the vitriol coming from overt white nationalists. It is tougher, and essential, to look deeply at how complacency and coded rhetoric and policies have combined to nurture an environment in which white supremacy can survive and, as we are now seeing, thrive in our current reality.
Tougher still is to see ourselves implicated in allowing hate and supremacy to live. We are called to do our part in building a new way. Love can drive out hate, but not without love-filled actions of courage, sacrifice, and witness. Love must win, but to live a faithful life of love requires action, and community. Join us and a host of others Sunday at 2 PM.
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4
— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
Viewer discretion advised.
CNN reporting on the horrible events today in Charlottesville, Virginia, the scene of a white supremacist rally following weeks of controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments from public parks that turned tragically violent:
One person was killed and 19 were hurt when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, where a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups had been scheduled take place, the city tweeted on its verified account.
A 32-year-old woman was killed while walking across the street, Thomas said. Police were still in the process of notifying her family.
Two Virginia State Patrol troopers were killed in a helicopter crash while “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville,” the agency said in a news release. The pilot, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, who would have turned 41 on Sunday, died in the crash.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe McAuliffe had a pointed message for the right-wing groups that flocked to Charlottesville on Saturday: “Go home. … You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.”
President Donald Trump’s response to the violence against counterprotesters in Charlottesville was that that “many sides” are to blame, not the white supremacists who gathered in the city for an eerily Naziesque blazing-torch march to a statue of Thomas Jefferson yesterday, and today engaged in what can only be described as street combat against left-wing counterprotesters. This (understatement) totally inadequate response from the President is receiving what seems to be authentic bipartisan condemnation in Colorado:
Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 12, 2017
The resurgence of unapologetic white supremacism since Donald Trump’s campaign for and eventual election as President is undeniable in both statistical and anecdotal terms–as evidenced by the rise of hate crimes in the United States, and the boldness of the racist movement that organized the chaos in Charlottesville to fight against the removal of Confederate names and statues from the city’s public parks. Even if Trump didn’t make the linkage painfully obvious by failing to explicitly condemn white supremacism and the American white racist movement following today’s violence, everyone knows why this movement is emboldened to the point of taking to the streets in store-bought riot gear.
It’s because Trump has emboldened them. And every member of Trump’s party, up to and including Sen. Cory Gardner, owns a piece of what is happening. Somewhere deep in the conscience of an intelligent former Democrat like Sen. Gardner, who learned in college about essential civic responsibility, that truth burns bright and it torments.
It had better, anyway. History will not be kind to any of them.