Demos Statement on Charlottesville Violence

Release Date: 
August 12, 2017

New York (August 12, 2017) — In response to today’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy and Research at the public policy organization Demos, released the following statement.

“The hate that roiled Charlottesville last night and today is not only shameful, but utterly clear. When crowds of white men bearing torches storm the streets, screaming “White lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us,” what we are seeing is white supremacy on proud, despicable display.

“We have all watched the video of a car purposely plowing into a crowd of protesters, killing one person and leaving many others injured. When similar acts of violence took place in Europe, we in America were quick to call it terrorism. There can be no question that what happened today was domestic terrorism, carried out by white supremacists who proudly style themselves after Nazis.

“Some people say that condemnation rings hollow in this moment. We at Demos believe that what is happening must be named.

“The politics of hate fueled the violence in Charlottesville. The politics of hate have made us, as a nation, so much less than we could—and should—be.

“Our country is under attack by terrorists, and the terrorists are within our borders, white supremacists trying to drag our diverse nation back into a past that never was. If the open wound of Charlottesville cannot convince us, what more will it take for the United States to begin our long-overdue journey toward racial reconciliation and healing?

“We at Demos hold in our hearts the families who are hurting tonight, and the women and men who are still on the ground, standing strong for peace. But more than that, we commit our strength and spirit to confronting the racism that has given rise to so much suffering.

“The United States is a nation of many different peoples, born in this country or brought here by ship or plane or foot, in hope or in chains. Today—right now—we must decide whether to come together as a country or fall apart.

“We, the people of America, can be better than what we saw today—but only if we take on the difficult and crucial effort of racial healing. The events in Charlottesville cry out that now is the time.”

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