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Western Center’s Statement on Charlottesville

We at Western Center on Law & Poverty condemn the actions of the Neo-Nazi, KKK, and fascist groups at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. Only when we dismantle the structures of racism can we achieve a society where everyone has a fair chance, a decent place to live, access to good jobs, food, and healthcare.

To deny the immorality of white supremacy is shameful. The President’s continued failure to unequivocally stand against groups espousing that ideology is shameful. To the President, we say – remove those in the Administration who espouse white nationalist views; they have no place in our government or civilized society.

As most people in our country and state understand, denouncing white supremacists and their actions should be a given—not the litmus test for strong moral leadership. As the Rev. Dr. William Barber II preaches, the true litmus is whether those in leadership fight to stop the suppression of voting rights, stop using immigration policy to tear families and communities apart, and stop racializing and vilifying the Affordable Care Act.

Western Center stands with our partners and our clients to challenge and change those structures that subjugate people of color.  We will keep fighting fines and penalties, like driver’s license suspensions and money bail, that rob black and brown people in disproportionate numbers of their freedom, livelihood, and dignity.  We will keep working to preserve healthcare for the millions more people who now have it under the Affordable Care Act as we seek to challenge the racial inequities that deprive people of color of the healthcare services that they need.  And we continue the fight for a permanent funding source for affordable housing and for equitable land use policies to address persistent racial segregation and unequal access to opportunities in our communities.

We stand in solidarity with those speaking out, demonstrating, and advocating for a country and society that works for all.