WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left at least three people dead and 19 injured.
“The Sierra Club condemns this act of white supremacist terrorism in the strongest possible terms. Our thoughts are with those injured and killed and our hearts are with those who are peacefully speaking out to stop hate from gaining another inch in our country and those who are living in fear because of that hate. No one who took to the streets of Charlottesville fueled by bigotry and brandishing the symbols of fascism that so many Americans fought and died to tear down has any claim on the mantle of patriotism. Instead, it is more important than ever that they be called out for exactly what they are: vile and unacceptable racists preaching division and hatred that stands in opposition to the values of equality and justice that must drive our nation forward. Hatred and racism have long played a disgraceful part of American history, but there can be no doubt that those who spew white supremacy feel empowered right now when they see allies in the corridors of power. These bigots must be condemned, not coddled, and we are in solidarity with those elected officials, residents of Charlottesville, and people all over this country who are speaking out for an America that pushes forward toward justice, not slides backward into hatred and fear.”
email, 8/12/17. Contact: Trey Pollard email@example.com
from Progressive Democrats of America, 8/12/17
Today, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) feels saddened and alarmed by the events in Charlottesville, Va., where the Governor has declared a state of emergency. Groups protesting against plans to move a statue of a Confederate general attacked and injured several people. White supremacists, Nazis, and others brandishing Confederate flags, weapons, and shields drove law enforcement officials from Emancipation Park and the surrounding area—creating a chaotic and dangerously lawless situation.
PDA stands in solidarity with the peaceful protesters who challenge racism past and present. We deplore violence, and call upon President Trump to renounce his “Alt-Right” supporters—as well as any other White Supremacist, Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi and other extremists and hate groups who have voiced their support for him.
In 2017, it is high time to put away any and all symbols and statues that glorify the shameful legacy of slavery. It is time to move toward a truly inclusive society that celebrates and honors diversity over division, embraces everyone, and strives to achieve the lofty ideals upon which our nation was founded. That all people are created equal.
From executive summary of “WE HAVE A LOT TO WE HAVE A LOT TO LOSE: SOLUTIONS TO ADVANCE BLACK FAMILIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY,” the March 2017 Congressional Black Caucus‘s reply to the question “What do you have to lose”:
…The CBC calls on the Trump Administration to strengthen voter protections and reform the criminal justice system from end-to-end. We call on this Administration to address the expanding wealth and income gaps between the rich and the poor in this country and strengthen the ladders that lift millions of Americans out of poverty. We call on the Trump Administration to commit to basic principles of humanity and decency, mainly that every child should have access to a high-quality education and every life deserves affordable, quality health care. The CBC calls on this Administration to improve the circumstances of the American worker and prepare our nation’s workforce for the challenges of the future. We call on the Trump Administration to guarantee that every American has equal access to clean air, water, and soil. Finally, we call on the Trump Administration to address the unique challenges in Rural America and help revitalize these oft forgotten communities.
If President Trump is sincere in his interest in advancing the Black community, this document should be the guiding post of his Administration….
download the full report at Congressional Black Caucus
video of excerpts from the poem MoveOn, directed by filmmaker Frank Chi and recited by actress Alfre Woodard.
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) graduated from Lincoln University in Chester County in 1929 and became a leading poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
See full text at PoemHunter.
And in this time of hostile government dismantling the country’s legacy, not to forget the poem’s final lines (not in the video):
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!