They Came With Torches: Denouncing the Violence in Charlottesville

Tonight, we send our love and solidarity to those rallying against hate in Charlottesville, and to the Industrial Workers of the World, who we are told lost one of their own today. The protester who was killed by a speeding vehicle today and the dozens who were injured were attacked because they acted against racism. We are grateful for their courage, and our hearts go out to their loved ones. 

The torch-carrying white nationalists who have repeatedly attacked protesters in Charlottesville should be condemned, in no uncertain terms, by any person of conscience. But in the absence of a conscience, President Donald Trump has chosen to remain neutral, stating that violence comes from “many sides.”

It is important for us to be clear with ourselves about what is happening in this political moment.

Only weeks ago, the Senate debated whether or not it would kill 29,000 people per year. The Trump administration has an immigration crimes database, reminiscent of the lists of supposed Jewish crimes that were published in Der Stürmer in Nazi Germany. Police have been encouraged to escalate their violence and assured there will be no federal oversight. Threats of nuclear war have been leveled, by a president, on Twitter. Republicans are debating whether or not to repeal the 17th amendment, which would put the power to elect senators back into the hands of state legislatures, 32 of which are Republican-controlled. Trump’s contempt for Native people, immigrants, Black people and the trans community could not be plainer. Marginalized people are being targeted by a leader who threatens nuclear war on a whim. We are seeing voting rights curtailed, and threats of increased criminalization appear daily.

We also have a president gutting what environmental protections we actually have in this country during a global climate crisis.

And now, we have white nationalists, carrying torches and marching by the hundred. They have marched unhooded, because in this political moment, they have no fear of consequence. They have attacked people, they have killed at least one person and have seriously injured dozens of others, in the name of hate — and their president has not betrayed them. The Republican Congress has seen its share of failure, but with a stranglehold on the federal government, their attacks will be relentless, and they will see victories that are the stuff of nightmares. But we must not be held back by our fears. 

We must all acknowledge the severity of our situation, and then we have to act. We are going to need each other. So let’s not just talk about solidarity. Let’s show some. 

Sincerely,

Lifted Voices

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