Disrupting and Dismantling White Supremacy

(Photo via Karla Ann Coté)

We knew this could happen. This weekend we saw vicious racism on full display in Charlottesville. A White supremacist terrorist attack injured scores of people and claimed a life.

These events are not a new story. Rather, they’re the latest manifestation of this country’s original sin. No hoods were involved, but the racist venom was the same. It’s called White supremacy and, despite the long, heroic efforts of Black people and other communities of color to redeem our nation’s purpose in true democracy, it’s still here and claiming lives.

We mourn Heather Heyer, killed in Charlottesville; Nabra Hassanen, in Sterling, Virginia; Timothy Caughman in New York City; Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Olathe, Kansas; Richard Collins III in College Park; the 16 trans women of color killed across the country this year alone; and the 611 individuals killed by police since January.

The racism and terrorist attacks we witnessed this weekend have been encouraged by racist statements, innuendos, and hiring decisions made by the Trump administration. Trump himself has even signaled approval for violence against protestors in his rallies. Three days after the Charlottesville terror attack did the president utter the words “White supremacists.” His delay in naming lethal, racist terrorism for what it is constitutes an extension of that hatred, and it is simply unacceptable, but not surprising. His words, his policies and his appointments to agencies and courts reflect these sentiments. 

At the same time, resistance to this vile way of thinking persists. All across the racial justice movement, individuals and organizations are doing the important work of building power in communities of color. This is the time to support them and show up.

At Advancement Project we work hard to support this work across the country. In Virginia alone, we work in critical partnership to build power grassroots organizations, led by people of color, like New Virginia MajorityTenants and Workers United, and Southerners on New Ground.

Now is the time to actively disrupt and dismantle White supremacy. Find an organization that works for you, show up, and give what you can. Inform yourself and those around you of key issues, and figure out what points of power to pressure. Call your elected officials. As always, remember to build around those who are directly impacted.

We must all use our voices and power to condemn and fight the whole of systemic racism.