Charlottesville: Thoughts and Resources

This post is my small attempt to add something to the discussion of Charlottesville and the stream of racism from Donald Trump. If you’re looking for something to do with your outrage, I hope you find something useful below. Or, if you have something not listed here (this is really only a small list), please feel free to add via comments.

The premise of this post: The hate in Charlottesville was about as pure an expression of hate as there is. But, if you’re outraged by white supremacy in its purest form, you should also be outraged by the much more subtle ways that it makes its way into our laws and common social norms. There’s too many examples of laws to list, but it’s really not hard to find, from bigger things like the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to relatively smaller things like the use of private school vouchers. It’s the same for social norms. As a white person, I’ll admit that in polite conversations about politics, I’ve been reluctant to use the term “white supremacist,” for fear of sounding like an out-of-touch lefty whose opinions are too out there to be taken seriously. I hate that I ever thought this, but it speaks to the ways that damaging social norms become written on those with privilege in subtle ways. It takes work to undo this.

There are many topics that deserve attention, but segregation is clearly at the core of the white supremacist agenda. And, contrary to the notion that these groups are “just coming out of the woodworks,” white supremacist organizations are becoming bigger emboldened by their dream president. Here’s a few ideas for how to get involved:

  • Read, learn and talk more about school segregation
    • If you aren’t too familiar with this topic, there are tons of great resources out there. I’ve tried to list these in the Sources and Topics post from when I started the blog. Here’s a few that I’ve come across more recently:
  • Attend an event or workshop
    • You can search for counter-protest events at Resistance Near Me and there are also great racial justice workshops out there, like this one from Race Forward.

I’m relatively new to this topic, so there are many, many others that I’m sure I’m missing. These are just the few that I’ve learned about since starting the blog last January. It can start small and grow. Sign up for their newsletters, follow their blogs, donate if you are able, attend an upcoming event, like the “struggle we must win” conference in NYC on 10/19-10/20. Who knows where it goes from there.

And remember: school integration is pretty much the exact opposite of what white supremacists want. Research has found that contact with people of different races reduces prejudice and negative attitudes while increasing friendships. But, it goes way way beyond the research. Public education is the engine of democracy, and, especially now, Thurgood Marshall’s famous line bears repeating: “unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together.”

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