August 18, 2017

Charlottesville: A pivotal place in time

The casual re-emergence of bald-faced and deadly racial bigotry, here in Oregon just months ago and most recently in Charlottesville, is a drum beat, a persistent reminder that white supremacy and racism are resurgent across the country. It may sound trite, but watching shield- and torch-carrying white supremacists incite, maim and kill their fellow Americans kind of puts a pin on the timeline. It is well past time for all of us who believe in the values of justice and inclusion to, at the very least, stand up and use our voices against white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and the structures in our society that oppress people of color.

There is no other just alternative. Hate is not normal. That’s the conversation white people should be having with our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our co-worshipers, our elected officials and within our broader communities. In this extreme moment, we have to be unrelenting in our condemnation and intolerance for any and all forms of racism, hateful messaging and bigotry.

Rather than write yet another blog statement explaining why I’m outraged and mourning the country we should be, I’ll re-share my call out for action this past December. I’d also like to point you to three right-on-point statements this week from my philanthropic peers and friends: Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation; Phillip Henderson, president of the Surdna Foundation; and Patrick McCarthy, president & CEO at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And I’d like to send my respectful appreciation to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, which is using the devastation in its community as a springboard for healing for all “those whose race, faith, gender identity or sexual orientation have made them targets of hatred and violence.“

If anything gives me comfort these days, it is standing firm alongside many others while making our voices and beliefs known.

Doug