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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Sadie, 3, wore red-rimmed sunglasses to the Rally for Peace and Sanity at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, New York. As elected officials denounced racism and war, she sat in her father’s lap, carrying two neon green signs. One said “Love one another.” The other, “Black Lives Matter.”

“Everything that happened yesterday was horrifying and demanded a response,” said her father, Justin. He was referring both to Donald Trump’s threats of nuclear war and the white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left an activist and two police officers dead. Justin said he attended the rally to set an example for Sadie and his two other daughters, to stand up for social justice.

(Photo by Ilana Novick)

Sadie and Justin were just two of thousands across the country who organized nearly 700 rallies (and counting) following the violence in Charlottesville. From California to New York to Atlanta, where multiple progressive groups were attending the Netroots conference, to Ohio and Arkansas and countless other states, Americans took their anger and fear into the streets, starting Saturday night, and still underway Sunday evening.

“In Trump’s America, the KKK doesn’t need a hood anymore,” Dan Cantor, the national director of the Working Families Party, said in response to Saturday’s events, joining a coalition of organizations including the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, Indivisible, Democracy for America, Resist Here, MoveOn, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Million Hoodies, and many others in condemning the white supremacist-fueled violence. Events started Saturday night, but will continue for the next few days. (Find or register a protest in your area.)

Activist leaders emphasized the difference in police responses between the fascist march in Charlottesville and the protests following the death of black men and women by police, particularly in Ferguson, Missouri after the killing of Michael Brown.

“When people of color have led peaceful protests in recent years, the police response has been swift,” Cantor noted. “In a crowd with clear violent intent, the response of law enforcement today in Charlottesville was comparatively restrained. They would not have treated a similar demonstration by young black men with such restraint.”

Elected officials at the Brooklyn rally, including New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams also noted that the violence in Charlottesville is not an anomaly, but part of a long tradition of hatred in America.

“I’ve been frustrated,” Williams said. “There are many people who are shocked about what they saw. They are in awe about what they saw. That is America…It has been in the DNA of this country from its birth. We have to be honest about that. Because if we pretend that it’s not who America is, that it is something new, we are missing the point.”

Indivisible co-executive directors Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg tied the violence in Charlottesville to multiple facets of American society. Their statement read, “In addition to condemning openly violent acts motivated by racism and nationalism, we must also confront white supremacy in all its sinister forms—including structural racism in our criminal justice system, our education system, our financial system, and throughout our society.”

Protest in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Tristan Rader)

More photos and videos below.

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

3 Responses to After Charlottesville, A Surge In Anti-Racism Rallies Across The Country

  1. Now this worthless piece of trash in the White House is now questioning why the alt-left isn’t also to blame with what happened at Charlottesville.

    What the dirtbag fails to understand is that many of those counter-protestors were not part of the alt-left – they were decent human beings refusing to let white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the KKK and others try to move America back to the pre Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. These were decent people pushing back against domestic terrorism – and Donald Trump being the dirtbag he is, just can’t get that through his thick head.

    And that was clear even when he was campaigning. See this:

    Trump Told White Supremacists to Attack Protesters, So They Did

    “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell… I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,” Trump said at an Iowa rally on February 1, 2016.

    At another event, Trump suggested police should be more violent with people they removed from his rallies. “You see, in the good old days, law enforcement acted a lot quicker than this,” Trump said at a rally in Oklahoma City, The New York Times reported, as security moved toward a protester.

    And this:
    Trump says both sides to blame amid Charlottesville backlash

    (CNN)President Donald Trump, in a staggering, impromptu news conference in New York on Tuesday, blamed the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend on both sides of the conflict — equating the white supremacists on one side
    with the “alt-left” on the other side — after his top White House aidesspent days trying to clean up after Trump’s initial vague response to the violence.

    “I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said during a contentious back-and-forth with reporters in the lobby of his Midtown Manhattan building.

  2. In retrospect it is no accident that the state of Virginia would become a focal point for the rallying of groups who support the myth of Racial Superiority and “Whiteness”.

    In one particular book—“The Birth of a White Nation:The Invention of White People”—we find brilliantly laid out by the author, Jean Battalora, the genesis and historical/social context and acceptance of the notion and term, “white”, taking place among the settlers in the Virginia/Maryland region during the early days of the founding of America. Such terminology, “White”, was coined to describe the favored members in the colonies, in order to accommodate all who looked “sufficiently British”.

    This was a much more flexible way of attributing privilege among a wealth of new arrivals from Europe, while denying such privilege to darker skinned arrivals from Europe. It allowed the designation to be adjusted to embrace all Europeans under this arbiter—Skin color and facial features—which are such readily available and distinct physical markers for identifying who fits into which category—“White” or “Non-White”.

    Jim Crow would expand on this scheme with a slight alteration “White” /”Colored”. And now, the Alt-Right continues the propagation of this dreadful spiritual ailment that perpetuates what the early settlers started in the Maryland and Virginia colonies. Like some magnet which attracts the dregs of our society, Virginia and its ghosts of the past are subliminally called out to these spiritually moribund individuals who exult in the color of their skin and being from Europe, by way of Africa. And many other states are affected by this centuries-old disease as well, unfortunately.

    So, you may well ask: What does this have to do with expressing disapproval of the chimera called “White Nationalism”? Well, it is important to understand the context and reasons behind this warped train of thought glorifying “White Supremacy” and “White Culture”. “White” is a term denoting complexion, and isn’t endowed with some magical and fantastical quality. It expresses an ephemeral quality, environmentally induced, and destined to fade into nothingness at the moment of death.

    Those who are bold and insightful enough to stand up against the pernicious influences of this demonic movement would do well to familiarize themselves foremost with the Message of Baha’u’llah and hook up with the local Baha’is wherever you live, and also, time permitting, explore the contents of the aforementioned book, as well as other relevant books and professional papers of the phenomenon of Racialism/Racism.

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