National LGBTQ Task Force Statement on the First Anniversary of Charlottesville Attack
WASHINGTON-DC, August 10, 2018: A year ago, our nation witnessed white nationalists, white supremacists, alt-right, and Neo-Nazis clustered in Charlottesville demanding that Black, Jewish, Muslim, immigrant, nonwhite, and LGBTQ people step aside so that they could “take their country back.” As their chief spokesman, Donald Trump justified their abhorrent words and murderous actions and refused to acknowledge their culpability. Now one year later, Jason Kessler and other rally organizers are even more emboldened with plans to bring their message of hate to the nation’s capital.
Candace Bond-Theriault, the Task Force’s senior policy counsel, and director of the Task Force’s Democracy Project explained that, “White nationalism is a divisive message of hate that seeks to suppress the rights of all others. From the ballot box, to the lunch counter, the cake shop, and to who sits in the White House, white supremacists seek a world free of anyone they deem other, be it those that are Black, Jewish, non-white, women, LGBTQ, or anyone else that disagrees with their message of hate.”
Rea Carey, executive director of the Task Force pledged that the organization was committed to confront racism, and stated, “The National LGBTQ Task Force will continue to fight for a true democracy, one that centers the voices of the most marginalized, and where Black lives finally matter. Every day we use our skills as organizers, policy experts, and community leaders to fight for a world of inclusion, dignity, and respect. The only difference today is that hate isn’t trying to hide behind a mask, its ugliness is revealed for all to see.”
The Task Force honors the memory of Heather Heyer, the woman who was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist who drove his car into a crowd that day. We keep her loved ones in our thoughts on the anniversary of her death.
For decades many white nationalists sought to find sanctuary in religious dogma. And while in the past they often found it, today, many religious communities have refused to be co-opted by white supremacy.
Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, faith work director at the Task Force stated that, “We also acknowledge the fierce bravery of the faith leaders who organized a counter demonstration last year and provided healing support to those facing violence on the front lines. Their actions that day exemplified authentic, embodied leadership in the midst of destructive chaos. We will continue to stand in solidarity with faith communities who say, Not on our watch!”
The Task Force wholeheartedly resists those seeking to erase, eliminate or evict anyone who is Black Jewish, Muslim, nonwhite, immigrant, LGBTQ, or otherwise marginalized individuals living in today’s society. Every day we use our skills as organizers, policy experts, and community leaders to fight for a world of inclusion, dignity and respect.