MCHR denounces the violence perpetuated by neo-Nazis and members of the KKK at the recent white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA.
While we condemn their actions, let us not forget that those carrying torches and spewing hatred are not an aberration. Rather, this is our nation’s legacy from its inception. White supremacy is this country’s original sin.
Its continued existence in our neighborhoods, schools, place of businesses, houses of worship, and – yes – ourselves, needs to be confronted and rooted out.
While we must take to the streets to confront the hatred, the real work needs to take place closer to home, beginning with ourselves.
The harder work is challenging the racism that is deeply embedded in the interactions and institutions that make up our daily lives, racism that we often deny or silently accept.
While we must always confront those who espouse hatred and violence, let us not deny the myriad tiki torches of injustice that we too often tolerate as we go about our usual routine.
White supremacy takes root in the soil of white silence. What happened in Charlottesville and what is happening around the country at hate rallies and in our own home towns is the predictable fruit of that silence.
Silence is violence.
MCHR refuses to remain silent in the face of hatred, racism, and bigotry. This is a moment of crisis that demands a firm and unified response. MCHR is committed to standing on the side of decency, justice, and human rights.
Kim Redigan for Michigan Coalition for Human Rights