This weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists and Neo-nazis protested the planned removal of a monument to a racist leader — and thousands of anti-racists rallied to shut down the display of hate, racism and bigotry in their community. In an act of white terror, a 20-year-old white man from Ohio accelerated his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and starkly reminding us of the deadly threat of white supremacy, not only in Virginia but across the nation.
Make no mistake, these white nationalists, Nazis, and alt-right fascists are here in Minnesota, too. They are beside us at work, in our neighborhoods, and at our family gatherings.
Just one week ago, white terror struck at the heart of our community, when a bomb was thrown through the window of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center. In recent months, we’ve seen white supremacist fliers posted on the University of Minnesota campus and literature placed in coffee shops in the Twin Cities. In February, white nationalists attempted an action at the Minnesota Institute of Art and in May Nazis and alt-right fascists marched on the Minnesota state capitol. In January last year, Sgt. Jeff Rothecker, a 22-year St. Paul police veteran, publicly advocated driving into protesters, the exact murderous violence on display this weekend.
And, like the protesters who filled the streets of Charlottesville, it was not long ago that local community members were brutalized and arrested by militant SWAT and police teams as they marched against police terror Minneapolis and St Paul, in the wake of state sanctioned violence.
SURJ MN stands in solidarity with the organizers and counterprosters in Charlottesville who made it clear that white supremacy will be actively rejected in their community. We are reminded that we have urgent work to do in our community — and ourselves — to take risks to confront white supremacy in ourselves, our communities and our workplaces. We know that privately having the “right/good” beliefs isn’t enough. Doing and saying nothing in these moments, in our spaces, means we are complicit. Risking and giving little or nothing means we are complicit.
Whether you have been active in anti-racist work or newly awakened to the insidious presence and violence of white supremacy, we invite you to join us. Charlottesville’s problems are our problems. Show up in the coming days, weeks, and months as we respond to the tragedy in Charlottesville, mobilize in our communities and take the risks and actions that are required of us to confront white supremacy in Minnesota.
Actions, Events, and Resources
- Show up for a solidarity vigil in the Twin Cities today and tomorrow:
- August 13, 8:22 p.m. - 9 p.m.— Minneapolis-Charlottesville Solidarity Vigil at Bde Maka Ska
- August 14, 5 p.m. — Solidarity with Anti-Racists in Charlottesville: Mpls Protest!
- Support Minnesota’s Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center efforts to rebuild in the wake of the bombing. As of this writing it is only half funded.
- Learn more about how America was built on white supremacy and racism and is still with us today in “Seeing White.”
- Learn more about the array of experiences of Black, indigenous and people of color in Minnesota, many dealing with hate, apathy, and erasure in “progressive” communities in “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota.”
- Become an active ally by subscribing to Safety Pin Box
- Gain tools to dismantle white supremacy in your workplace in this syllabus of resources put together by Pollen and TC Daily Planet.
- Get involved with SURJ MN by signing up here — and attend our upcoming General Meeting, this Sunday, August 20.