We denounce. We resist.

Merf Ehman, Executive Director

We at Columbia Legal Services reveal and end harm to form a more just and inclusive society. We denounce white supremacy in all its forms. It has no place in our society. White supremacy and violence is not new. We abhor the further unleashing of it at the events in Charlottesville and across the nation.

Although by no means a new phenomenon, racialized violence and increased suffering have taken an even greater hold under a federal administration which fosters and condones the targeting and terrorizing of people of color through devaluing, dehumanization, and criminalization.

To this, we say loudly not on our watch. Black Lives do Matter. We will continue our work to dismantle the system of white supremacy on which many of our laws and systems are based to create the world we believe in. We will continue to imagine justice. We will remain vigilant in our racial justice work.

We also want to recognize that the response from the state would have been different and has been different, if it was people of color who were armed and “rioting.” And we ask ourselves, if the young woman who died in Charlottesville had been black, not white, would the press and public response be the same? Sadly, we don’t think so. So while we fight against the ideas and actions that led to the terrorism in Charlottesville, those of us who are white people must be mindful that we are not once again putting ourselves at the center of the picture and ignoring and marginalizing people of color whose bodies are in danger.

We each will have different opinions, impacts and feelings about these events. Let this be a call to conversation and action.