The rise of vocal white supremacist and neo-Nazi rhetoric and violence, and the failure of our elected leaders to demand an end to the surge of racist attacks, points to a void that citizens must unite to fill. LaFASA and our partners know that racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and other oppressions are tied together, and contribute to rape culture. Sexual violence is a society-wide epidemic, made even more traumatizing by lack of trust in justice systems, the impact of historical trauma and contemporary oppression, over-criminalizing communities of color while excusing violence done by people with privilege, and tacit and explicit approval of hate speech.
Large gatherings of groups that practice and promote domestic terrorism – whose sole purpose is to threaten and intimidate their targets – prove the privilege that white skin grants people in this country. While peaceful protests calling attention to the murder of people of color have been met with militarized law enforcement donning riot gear, mobs of white domestic terrorists boasting torches and hate speech are able to fuel their mission to subjugate people of color and allies, due to racist perceptions of what a “threatening person” looks like.
In the wake of this tragedy, some are attempting to draw a moral equivalency between the white supremacists groups and those who were there to protest them. Not only are these statements offensive, they are also dangerous. Statements like this normalize the existence of these hate groups while justifying and rationalizing the violence these groups encourage.
We extend our sympathies to the families of those killed and injured in Charlottesville, send healing thoughts to the wounded, and stand with all who are working to end hatred and violence.
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