The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition stands in solidarity with people fighting white supremacy, particularly communities of color, Jewish communities, and other directly affected groups, in the aftermath of the August 12, 2017 events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
White supremacy is not “back”: it has continued to exist in varying manifestations throughout the history of the United States. Although we are currently witnessing upticks in the “fast” violence against people of color and other targeted groups, white supremacy has continued to manifest in the often slow violence of climate injustice, which disproportionately affects people of color, women, and young people.
Trump and his supporters did not create white supremacist ideologies, but the election of Trump has enabled the rise in visibility of hate groups and provided them with a larger platform, which legitimizes white supremacy and their other hateful beliefs. Trump’s inaction and lack of condemnation of white supremacy immediately following the events in Charlottesville embolden those who showed up for other ‘Unite the Right’ rallies. Inaction from anyone, citizen or politician, is not neutral: you are complicit and enable hate crimes/white supremacy if you are not explicitly opposed and taking action.
Listen to folks who are disproportionately affected and provide support in the ways that you are asked to: do not assume you know what is needed. People of color cannot and should not fight this fight alone, white people need to take some of the burden. Don’t just share articles on social media platforms, it’s important to talk to your peers, start difficult conversations, and physically show up for communities who need support.
With that in mind, don’t perform allyship to make yourself feel good. Your white guilt shouldn’t be the driving force of your attempted allyship. Don’t show up to events because you ‘feel bad’. Speak up and show up because your liberation is tied to the liberation of people of color.
We want to use our platform to elevate the voice of a person of color and his thoughtful response to recent events – Marquis Bey’s “Ain’t Never Scared: The Black Radical Feminist Tradition of Confronting White Supremacy”
Unsure of where to start? Here’s 26 Ways To Be In The Struggle Beyond the Streets