I'm angry. I'm so, so angry. And I'm scared. Chances are you are, too.
I decided not to go to Charlottesville this weekend with fellow activists from SURJ-DC, and I don't know if I made the right decision or not. I chose to stay in DC for my mental health; I've had a rough several weeks with my mental illness/recovery and believed that going would be unsafe for my mental health. It was a difficult decision and I second-guessed myself often. After seeing what went down last night, when a mob of hundreds of Nazis surrounded anti-racist protesters and attacked them, I feared I chose wrong. And after the horrors of today that left one person dead, at least nineteen injured, and thousands more traumatized, I feel intense regret that I wasn't there on the ground to support. But the reality is that hindsight is 20/20, that I made the best decision I could for my safety at the time, and that guilt is useless. So I'm in my feelings (see: first link below) but that doesn't matter, because I need to do work.
So, instead of my usual weekly link roundup, I'm offering a list of Charlottesville resources. They range from educational articles to Twitter threads to donation suggestions. Please do what you can, give what you can, and share widely. Do something, and then do another thing, and then keep going and do more. We need you.
If you're white and in your feelings, read this blog post: White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville. This is an excellent guide on how to process your feelings, take action, and crush Nazi scum.
If you're wondering why the cops didn't protect people from the Nazi/white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville, look at this graphic: 1850 Slave Patrols vs. 2015 Law Enforcement. It's illuminating.
For historical context, read this article: Fighting Cops and the Klan: The History and Future of Black Antifascism. I found this piece through the activist organization Resist This, which I highly recommend following. Read for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of fascism and antifascist work through the lens of racial justice.
Check out some really good Twitter threads. Follow these people and more on Twitter. Learn from them. It's free, but also drop coins in the Paypal/CashMe apps of Black/indigenous/people of color who provide you with valuable education.
To understand why you might feel defensive when addressing white supremacy, look at this resource: White Fragility. It happens to me too, so you're not alone, but all white people must address it.
If you're new to anti-racism work (me too!), get up to speed: Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement - Here's What You've Missed. Writer Ijeoma Oluo is extraordinary. Read this and then go read the rest of her stuff, too.
If you call yourself an "ally," two things: 1. Stop that. Ally is a verb, not a noun. And 2. Learn why Allyship is Just a Little White Lie. As someone who used to call herself an "ally" as recently as a year ago, I know this knowledge in particular can be hard to swallow. But please read and understand, because it's incredibly important.
Plan a reparations party with your friends. Leslie Mac, co-founder and creative director of Safety Pin Box (see more in donations section), gave us a handy guide on how to do that.
Remember that trauma/vicarious trauma is real and can be experienced through media consumption. Take care of yourself. If you're bearing witness to what happened in Charlottesville - and you should be - then you will likely experience some form of trauma or vicarious trauma. This thread has some excellent suggestions on how to engage in self-care after trauma. Important note to white people: do not ask Black/indigenous/people of color to take care of you and/or help you process. They are likely experiencing their own trauma (and have been for a long time) so don't add to that burden. Reach out to white friends/family instead.
Support Black-owned businesses. Economic power is important, and it's one of the ways in which white people have continued to feed and preserve white supremacy. Support businesses owned by Black/indigenous/people of color whenever possible.
C-Ville Victim Relief - raises funds to support the victims of the Nazi/white supremacist attack, which killed one person and injured at least nineteen, comes from a legitimate source
Medical Fund for Comrades in Cville - organized by Democratic Socialists of America but will pay for medical expenses for victims injured regardless of affiliation with DSA
Solidarity Cville Legal Fund - covers legal expenses for anti-racist and anti-fascist activists in Charlottesville
BLM Charlottesville - the official Black Lives Matter chapter of Charlottesville
Support a Queer Black Activist - I know Tracye personally and they travel all over the country to do activism full-time. Pay them for the work they do, from which we all benefit.
Heading to Charlottesville to Fight the Right - reimburses supply costs for activists from Showing Up for Racial Justice chapters from DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland who went to Charlottesville this weekend
Nice White Ladies Emergency Reparations Fund - this fund goes directly to women and femmes of color who request financial support (reparations) through the website
Safety Pin Box - black woman-owned company that educates subscribers on dismantling white supremacy and financially supports black women. Consider signing up, too!
"I'm not interested in anybody's guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn't do it, and I didn't do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, for the very same reason."
-James Baldwin, "Words of a Native Son," 1964