In the Face of Hate and Violence

By Rachel L. West

In the face of hate and violence we must be resolute. Yesterday Nazis rallied in Charlottesville, VA. One person demonstrating against the white supremacist rally, Heather Heyer, was murdered. Many others were injured.

Social justice is a defining component of social work. We are tasked with fighting oppression and giving a voice to those silenced by institutionalized discrimination. Over the past eight months #MacroSW has had many chats about the new challenges brought about by the current White House administration. Yesterday’s events in Charlottesville was a watershed moment.

While oppression was weaved into the fabric of American society from the start and white supremacy groups have long operated in the US; anti-racist groups and actions taken by Department of Justice in the 1980’s and 1990’s had driven many of those hate groups underground.  The fact that so many of the people participating in the really (including those who marched on the UVA campus the night before with torches) did not feel compelled to cover their faces demonstrates how emboldened these groups now feel.

I’ve have started a Google Doc (embedded below and linked here) where we can share events that are being held in response to yesterday’s events. If you know of or are coordinating an event please add it to the doc. It is an open doc and anyone with the link can edit and share. The event can be a vigil, a march, a town hall, a workshop; basically any public event (online or in person) that is taking place to combat white supremacy.

Those of you who teach courses or workshops can also find and share related resources on the #MacroSW Syllabus.

Original photo Credit: By Edward Kimmel from Takoma Park, MD (Climate March 0746 resist) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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