On Charlottesville and White Terrorism

by Interfaith Worker Justice

The terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville this weekend is a vile reminder of the hatred and violent bigotry so deeply embedded in our nation. Interfaith Worker Justice condemns this terror and calls on federal, state, and local officials to prosecute those engaged in this weekend’s terrorism to the fullest extent of the law.

We pray for peace and justice for Heather Heyer and her family and friends, as well as all those injured by the events of this weekend.

The white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville this weekend remind us that the national tenet that all people are created equal is a hopeful promise, not yet a realized principle.

We must remember that white supremacy isn’t just a violent march or a disturbing rally. White supremacy is present in every corner of American life: from popular culture to law enforcement and everywhere in between.

It is incumbent upon people of faith and anyone who believes in the dignity and humanity of all people to boldly and explicitly condemn white terrorism. We must work actively to identify and dismantle the systems of white supremacy that reinforce and maintain oppression.  

On Monday morning, Interfaith Worker Justice co-sponsored an Interfaith Vigil in Solidarity with Charlottesville in Chicago.

You can watch video of the vigil here.  

Statements from the Interfaith Worker Justice network

It is time for all people of good will to stand together to clearly and unequivocally condemn white supremacy. That hateful ideology is anathema to a democratic society.
- Joseph A. McCartin, Kalamanovitz Initiative for Labor & the Working Poor, Georgetown University 

My prayer is for all people of faith come together in love against the racist evils and hate of this world. If Love trumps Hate, then we must be the Love this country sees. To the brave souls that stood together in Charlottesville, VA, God bless you! Much Love to Sister Heather & the two officers that loss their lives because of this evil act.
- Robin Williams, UFCW

Especially in dark times, it is important to remember Theodore Parker's words, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Yet this doesn't happen by itself. As people of faith, it is up to us to assist with the bending. I am angry about ongoing racism and white supremacy; anger is an appropriate response to violence against people of color and allies. Yes, we must be gracious. But let us use gracious anger as fuel to show up for racial justice on a daily basis!
-Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program

We will meet white supremacy, xenophobia and racism with Solidarity, and what Dr. King called "Revolutionary Love". Together- Faith and Labor- will root out hate, and build the Beloved Community.
- Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition

There are not many sides to the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. You either do it or you don’t. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could march around with torches terrorizing each other. Anyone who invokes the name of Jesus to claim superiority over others has clearly never met Jesus.  Jesus wants his name back. It’s time to reclaim it. Which side are you on?
- Rev. Lillian Daniel, Author of Tired Of Apologizing For A Church I Don't Belong To

Those who promote hate and those who do not stand up against it, are the same. This is the time for us to rise and fight against this divisive rhetoric. What we saw last week, we have seen throughout history. We know what it looks like. Hate fosters nothing but exclusion, discrimination, and prejudice. Our fight now is to show that we won’t let them corrupt us and we won’t let them divide us. We will stand up for equality and most importantly, for the right of everyone to belong.
- Mayumi Swanson, Interfaith Worker Justice staff