On Aug. 12, a rally turned tragic in Charlottesville, Virginia, as hundreds of white nationalists, Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis clashed with counterprotestorsand a car plowed into crowds, killing one person ( reportedly in the counterprotestor contingent ) and injuring 19 others, multiple media outlets reported.
City officials stated that they had not yet determined if the crash happened on purpose.
Pro-LGBT organizations were among those who issued responses to the goings-on at the rally. "Hate and bigotry must never be met with silence or half-hearted rebukes," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. "The horrific events unfolding in Charlottesville today are a stark reminder that the racism and white supremacy that has been allowed to fester for generations has recently been emboldened by the policies and rhetoric of politicians like Donald Trump. There are no two sides.
"The Human Rights Campaign offers our condolences to the family of the counter protester who lost their life and all those injured. Today and everyday, we must be outraged by this kind of prejudice and we will continue to confront this violent hatred wherever it rears its ugly head."
GLAAD stated, "According to reports by numerous journalists, alt-right marchers, including white supremacist David Duke, praised President Donald Trump while promoting attacks on marginalized communities such as African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, and LGBTQ Americans."
GLAAD President/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "GLAAD and countless LGBTQ Americans stand firmly together with other marginalized communities to denounce these disgusting threats and cowardly fear tactics. This is the dangerous culture that having a Bully in Chief in the White House has created."
In a separate release, Stacey Long Simmons, Esq.director of the Advocacy and Action Department of the National LGBTQ Task Forcesaid, "The National LGBTQ Task Force will not stand by and watch the very fabric of this nation torn apart by hate. We will stand with our immigrant, Muslim, African-American, Latino, differently-abled and all marginalized people targeted by the hate and discrimination coming from all directions, from the White House to the streets of Charlottesville."
Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency during the "United the Right" rally.
Indivisible Chicago released the following statement in response to the events in Charlottesville:
"Indivisible Chicago condemns the attacks by white nationalist in Charlottesville, Virginia that have already left at least one dead. Indivisible Chicago supports the right to free speech, however the hate and bigotry promoted by white supremacists gathering in Charlottesville is an affront to everything we stand for and has no place in society
We call on President Trump to take a stronger stand against white nationalism. His statements so far are not nearly enough especially since he and his administration (and political campaign) helped give voice and power to this hatred for the past year. The use of the phrase "on many sides" fails to denounce white supremacy and provides fuel to the very people responsible for these acts. The President must name the problem if he ever hopes to help fix it."
For more information and/or an interview with Indivisible Chicago, please contact: Lauren Tucker director of Marketing and Public Relations at 864-386-0702 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Stacey Long Simmons, Esq., Director of the Advocacy and Action Department of the National LGBTQ Task Force released the following statement:
"The violence we are witnessing is horrifying, but is merely the latest manifestation of the growing racist, anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-LGBTQ hate in our midst. The continuing escalation of hate and white nationalist sentiment we are experiencing during the Trump administration has come to this - targeted violence in the streets of Virginia led by the Klu Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi organizations. The National LGBTQ Task Force will not stand by and watch the very fabric of this nation torn apart by hate. We will stand with our immigrant, Muslim, African-American, Latino, differently-abled and all marginalized people targeted by the hate and discrimination coming from all directions, from the White House to the streets of Charlottesville."
Candace Bond-Theriault, the Senior Policy Counsel, Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice and the Democracy Project Director released the following statement:
"As a Black queer Virginian I am a swell of emotions. I am angry. It is 2017 and a White Nationalist group in Charlottesville, Virginia had the audacity to march last night with torches, a symbol of allegiance with the KKK. I am also not shocked. I know that White Supremacy and hatred run rampant in my state. Growing up in southern, Virginia, I have witnessed racism firsthand more times than I can count. But even in the face of this extreme demonstration of hatred, I believe in the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr, that "Hate can't drive out hate. Only love can do that." In this moment we must keep each other close, hold on to each other and spread love. Today I choose the emotion of love, for myself and my fellow black queer Virginians because love is a radical act of rebellion."
For more information go to www.thetaskforce.org .
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Denounces Hate Rallies; Calls on Trump to Act
WASHINGTON Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement following the hate rallies In Charlottesville, VA:
"Our thoughts go out to those peaceful counter-protesters who were victims of violence today, especially the person who lost their life.
The white supremacist rallies this weekend and the ongoing violence in Charlottesville are un-American and unacceptable. They run counter to the values of justice, fairness, and inclusivity that we uphold as a country. While the right to free speech is a core value, hate has no place in America.
Donald Trump, as a candidate and as president, has emboldened and enabled the forces of hate and division in this country. He and his administration must denounce what happened this weekend - and the white supremacist hate behind it - in the strongest possible terms. And the FBI should open an investigation into today's violence.
Transgender Law Center statement on Charlottesville white supremacist violence:
(Oakland, CA)Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi released the following statement about the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend:
"We are chilled and heartbroken, though unfortunately not surprised, by the white supremacist violence taking place in Charlottesville. The hate driving these racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT acts is deeply embedded in this country and in the ongoing attacks and violence against trans communities, particularly trans women of color.
Already in this year filled with violence and hate, we have lost at least 17 transgender people to murder the majority of them Black trans women. We cannot separate the deaths of our Black trans sisters from the violence on display in Charlottesville or from the broader attacks on trans communities, whether they come in the form of presidential tweets, immigration policy, or white supremacist rallies. Supporting the trans community means actively and vigorously opposing all of these acts of hate against us."
To support those on the ground, please donate to the Charlottesville legal fund: fundly.com/solidarity-c-ville-7-8-anti-racist-legal-fund .
Center on Halsted's CEO, Modesto Tico Valle, released the following statement:
"On Saturday, August 12th, white supremacists unleashed domestic terrorism in a planned race riot in Charlottesville. These are difficult words to write and yet, if we distort the truth, we are complicit. If we do not name those involved, we run the risk of claiming that 'many sides' were responsible for a group of heavily armed white nationalists instigating racist, homophobic violence where a woman was killed and others beaten with pipes and torches defending this country against hate.
"People of color in the United States have long understood what on Saturday became clear to those who do not encounter the damaging effects of white supremacy daily-that no place is truly safe or untouched by bigotry. The people marching and those planning to march in similar demonstrations of hate, are our neighbors, family members, and colleagues and we are responsible for standing in solidarity with the people they seek to harm.
"Center on Halsted, the Midwest's largest LGBTQ community center, has been fighting hate for decades, particularly through our Anti-Violence Program, which provides services to survivors of violence. Center on Halsted will continue to fight hate. We will continue to provide services and be a place where people can organize and strategize. We will continue to be your community center." — Modesto "Tico" Valle, CEO, Center on Halsted
The Anti-Violence Project at the Center on Halsted empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. The Anti-Violence Project at the center is also a founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within LGBTQ communities.
For more information on the impact of the Anti-Violence Project at Center on Halsted, visit:
ABOUT CENTER ON HALSTED
Center on Halsted is the most comprehensive community center in the Midwestern United States dedicated to building and strengthening the LGBTQ community. www.centeronhalsted.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter .