|Statement Regarding the National Tragedy in Charlottesville, VA.|
YWCA Madison condemns the unacceptable violence, hatred, and
murder by Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. We are incredibly disappointed, but
unfortunately not surprised, by the actions of the local and state police
during Charlottesville. When White
Nationalists bring torches, guns, batons, helmets, and other weapons to what is
supposed to be a peaceful march, the protections of the 1st
Amendment no longer apply. These were
not signs and banners that people bring to a march, these were weapons that
people bring to a riot. If organizers of a Black Lives Matter protest brought
weapons to a rally, without a doubt those ralliers would have been immediately
stopped if not arrested. Instead, the
police in Charlottesville gave the Nazis and White Nationalists space to create
However, we are encouraged by strong and peaceful counter
protests occurring across the nation, including 40,000 people in Boston. We also commend the Boston police, where
reports indicate that the police arrested several protestors with weapons and protected
counter protestors and even joined them in chants. We must raise our voices and
march against White Nationalists who seek to bring hate back into mainstream America.
We must make their voices unwelcomed, until we silence them back into the
fringes of society.
But that is not enough.
Now is the time for action. We must intentionally work to disrupt
racism, and anti-Semitism, in our everyday lives. Racism is not just personal. It didn’t come
into power because of President Trump or the marches of Neo-Nazis. It’s
systematic, engrained into the fabric of our nation. Charlottesville’s horrific acts were just one
manifestation of the everyday racism in America. We urge our fellow Madisonians: Don’t be
complicit in this system. White Americans must ask themselves, “How am I
upholding white supremacy and white privilege?”
If you are not actively working to dismantle our racist systems, your
inactions are upholding them.
There is much that you can do. Show up to rallies. Educate yourself on the systematic white privilege
built into our nation, and then voice your knowledge and speak out. Begin uncomfortable conversations about race
in America at your work, home, schools, places of worship, and social events.
Empower people of color and disenfranchised communities by creating space for
them to be heard and serve in leadership roles, and then listen to what they
say and follow their lead. Support the
removal of racist statues and monuments in our community, just as the City of
Madison did last week. Attend our Racial
Justice Trainings or our Racial Justice Summit (learn more: http://www.ywcamadison.org/site/c.cuIWLiO0JqI8E/b.8047237/k.8188/Racial_Justice_Resources.htm.)
Join us in leading the way to a more just and equal city and
Your voice matters! Join us to advocate for YWCA Madison Advocacy Action Team priorities. Active action items will appear below. Interested in receiving action alerts via email? Sign up for our Advocacy Action team e-newsletter.