From Charlottesville to Chicago

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Photo by Sarah-Ji

Heather Heyer’s FB post – “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

As donor activists, organizers, and people committed to sustaining movement work and organizing on the front lines of racial, social, and economic justice, we are heartbroken by the events in Charlottesville last weekend, where activist Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist, two state troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed while monitoring the protest on the ground, and 19 people were injured.

But almost equally disturbing as the events themselves is the way the President has portrayed them. Refusing to condemn white supremacists and nationalists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis for days and then, after doing so, walking back his words in a surreal press conference on Tuesday, he equated the counter-protesters on the left to the racists and white nationalists on the right.

The President described the counter-protesters — the "alt-left" as he is now calling them — as violent, bad troublemakers, but we know different. At Crossroads Fund we proudly stand with anyone who confronts white supremacy and white nationalism on the streets, in the workplace, on college campuses, and anywhere hatred is being promoted. White nationalists and supremacists are anti-Black, anti-Semitic, Islamaphobic, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and anti-immigrant. The counter-protesters who stood bravely in their path were part of a broad coalition of groups and activists who are committed to racial justice and equality. Here are some ideas for how to directly support the work on the ground in Charlottesville.

Our grantees in Chicago – and others on the front lines of social justice work – continue to confront an administration that is attempting to eliminate our rights daily: dismantling the Voting Rights Act, instituting unconstitutional travel bans, ramping up deportations, chiseling away at affirmative action, and trying to destroy health insurance benefits for those most in need. This drive to turn back our hard won gains is connected to the rise of white supremacists and nationalists. We have won these rights through collective struggle, and the tide has been turning towards justice. This is their backlash and response.

So how do we stop this? What do we do?

This is a moment to be engaged. This is our moment to shout out and hold up the important work being done by organizers and activists in Chicago and beyond.

There couldn’t be a better time to announce our FY17 grantee list. These groups are working every day to fight and overcome the oppression that continues to blanket our country, and to do the forward-thinking, courageous work that will build a better world for all of us. Take a look at who they are and what they stand for, contact them to volunteer, donate to support their work, or to gather information about what you can be doing to help.

If nothing else, take to heart the words in Heather Heyer’s last Facebook post…stay outraged and keep paying attention. We are.

Take care,

Your friends at Crossroads Fund