Yesterday, the President of the United States defended white supremacy and virulent racism on national television. He derided the journalists who challenged or questioned his comments, and he created a false equivalence between anti-racism protesters and Neo-Nazis.
This is not normal. And we cannot allow this to become the new normal.
Trump did not make yesterday’s statements in a vacuum. He made them against the backdrop of a nation reeling from the recent deadly racist rally in Charlottesville and a lethal string of unjustified police killings of innocent Black people. Through its actions, this administration has repeatedly emboldened white nationalists and implicitly condoned attacks on people of color, Jewish people, immigrants and the LGBTQ community. This Presidency is a national tragedy. And every day there are more victims.
Our nation’s failure to deal honestly with race and injustice is not new. Multiple generations have pushed white people to acknowledge our nation’s legacy of slavery and racist subjugation. Repeatedly, that legacy has been denied, lied about, and perpetuated by white people, even as it has continued to exert a crushing burden on people of color. But that past failure need not be our future.
We can, must, and will turn this tide.
As Elie Wiesel once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter never the tormented.” There is no moment to doubt, cower or dismiss. THIS is a moment where moral courage and action is demanded. None of us can do anything alone. But if every day you vow to do what you can, about what you can, we will see change. At NCLR we will use our platform to denounce racism and white supremacy and fight every day for justice. For me personally it means engaging in all sorts of conversations, asking everyone I know to speak out and get involved, to be relentlessly engaged, and to seek out difficult conversations and search for common ground.
Never in our lives has there been a more consequential moment. The world has witnessed how fascism flourishes. “Never Again” must be our personal pledge: we will not allow our nation to slide further into the abyss of hatred and oppression. Stand up, speak out, support us and other organizations who are fighting back. We can and will make a difference.
We can end this national terror, but only if we rise up, resist and fight back in ways and with a resolute passion never unleashed before.
We pledge to do that work every day. Join us.