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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson



I’ve been in the ‘how do I write about this insanity’ haze since Saturday. I run a happy, honest brand about styling and interiors. I write about pillows, poufs and a baby or two. When utterly compelled I have written about social issues over the past year (I like to say ‘social’ not ‘political’ because they were never about politics). But last weekend’s insanity and this week’s reaction from our president left me speechless. Just wordless. What has happened to us?

You see, sure, I knew I would denounce ‘White Supremacy’, because DUH, IT’S WHITE SUPREMACY. The sheer fact that we even feel compelled to publicly state our opposition to it is INSANE. For the record I’m also ‘Anti-murder’, I’m not ‘Pro-Stealing’ and I would check ‘no’ in the ‘Should You Burn Your Neighbors House?’ poll. And while I’m not equating any of these acts, obviously, I thought we all agreed that certain things are repugnant and immoral, including racism.

We know these people exist but since when can they use their ‘first amendment right’ to chant publicly about it? We allowed this?? Since when did blatant racism become an accepted public social activity, and why are we so shocked that it got heated, and people were injured and killed? Since when did the first amendment protect hatred that makes others live in fear????

Typically I try hard to understand both sides as I think empathy, understanding and communication is the only way for us to progress, right? When Trump won the election I wrote a whole post calling for Trump supporters to help enlighten me/us as to why he got their vote. And after reading the 1400 comments I truly learned SO MUCH about life and politics outside of my bubble.

But this is different. The “other side”, those who gathered on Saturday, are full of hate, bigotry and racism – despite their many pseudonyms they are Neo-Nazi’s WITH TORCHES. I don’t want to understand them, I don’t want to empathize with them and I really don’t want to communicate with them. There have always been garbage-faced racists out there, we know this. The south hasn’t ever been free of its past but that’s not what is so terrifying.

What is shocking is that right now they feel permission to show their faces as they chant, as they aren’t even embarrassed or ashamed of their racism. It’s a small group of men with even smaller (ahem) microphones, but they happily demonstrated in public, a riot broke out and the most disturbing thing is how those in power reacted to it. Or didn’t.

We have clearly created a culture and society that has helped people foster these thoughts, come out from under their bridges, and feel PROUD of being a racist… IN PUBLIC. WTF???!!! They have supporters in very low and very high places that by their cheers and silence, are emboldening them.

I’ve read enough to know their general thesis and I don’t accept it as anything other than ignorant, fear-based, GARBAGE, riddled with insecurity and paranoia. In case there is confusion I’m talking about White Supremacists (or “nationalists”, same thing) this isn’t a partisan thing. Even my most conservative of family members are appalled by what has happened and the reaction to it. Perhaps this could unite us more than we think?

All I can say is that all Americans should certainly practice “tolerance” daily, but do not tolerate racism.

All Americans should treat others as equals, but know that these actions are way beneath us.

And we should all be open-minded to different political/cultural/religious views, but we should be CLOSED OFF to any blind-hatred, shut down to this insanity and no matter how ‘accepting’ we are, WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS.

Brady pointed out this theory:

The paradox of tolerance, first described by Karl Popper in 1945, is a decision theory paradox. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Popper came to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.

I feel like every day we get more and more divided, but I’m hoping that this is a subject that we can all agree on. A lot of people wanted a big change, but certainly this wasn’t the change anyone was looking for.

I’d love to hear any insight on what the best way might be to help. Sure we can donate money but I don’t really see how that will change ignorance and fear (hopefully I’m wrong). I can’t imagine any laws against hate speech or ‘public display of hate’ will be passed in the next 3 years, but if there are some proposed by congress I will campaign for them. I know it won’t stop people from being racist, but it might slow down both its growth and the pain that events like last weekend created.

I know that our society, including all us white people, are responsible for this in a way, but what do we do now to fix it??? And If I’m upset, how must many of you feel?

  1. I love this post so much. Thank you for using your platform to share this and open this conversation <3

    1. Ditto. ❤️

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write about this. I really appreciate people who use their platform to confront racism, even if it’s not totally “on-brand” for them. Part of how racism continues is that we don’t confront it. I’m from the South, and I’m working hard to unpack the invisible racism that was a part of my upbringing (which was very liberal by Southern standards, tbh).

    A resource that I see mentioned a lot, and that I’m going to check out is Safety Pin Box. It’s a monthly subscription, and many of my friends sing its praises. I think joining the Southern Poverty Law Center mailing list is another (free) step to take. Both of these things will give you resources to tackle confronting racism and learning more about how you might be perpetuating it.

    1. Thanks so much for this comment, Nataie! I hadn’t heard of SPB, but it looks terrific. Signing up, and going to see if my law firm (which I’m always proud to say is *serious* about its commitment to inclusion) is interested in rolling it out as an initiative across our offices. Thanks again! (And, EH, thank you – duh – for starting the conversation 🙂

    2. Nataie – I cannot seem to find the mailing list on SPL website. Can you please link?

  3. Love your opinion, but I disagree with your last paragraph. ‘All us white people’ are absolutely not responsible for anything to do with our past, including the events of last weekend. And I’m glad you are cognizant that you definitely live in the California bubble – hopefully your readers will provide some good commentary to your post.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    1. By traditional western standards of Individualism and direct individual responsibility, I guess you’re technically right. None of us owns slaves, if that’s what you mean. It’s illegal now.

      Any other thoughts about this? I believe white Americans do, in fact, bear a collective responsibility for all subtle and overt racism in modern America. What do you guys think? Can anyone enlighten us more on this issue or add to this discussion?

      1. First not all “white americans” are descendants of slave owners and even those that are did not choose their heritage or the actions of their progenitors, so no I do not believe they are responsible for what people currently think, say and do. The law holds us accountable for our individual choices and actions. We do not let an abuser off because he/she was abused as a child, they still receive punishment. Also we don’t arrest the child of a murderer, we arrest the murderer. These are extreme examples but we cannot be held accountable for other people’s thoughts and actions, we can only be accountable for our own.

        We cannot force people to be kind, we can love them and show them a better way, some people will choose to change and become better, others will hold on to ignorant beliefs. I want everyone to have the freedom to think and speak as they wish, even though they think and say things that are mean and contrary to my own beliefs, it is the price I pay to be able to freely think and speak as I wish. We have laws to prevent cruelty, abuse murder. But you cannot mandate kindness and love, you cannot force someone to feel those things, again Martin Luther King Jr “hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” So I find ways to serve my community, to gain better understanding and love for everyone.

        1. I completely agree Elizabeth.

        2. Elizabeth, I appreciate how you believe so genuinely in the ideals that created our nation. The problem is that all those ideals, like “the law holds us accountable for our individual choices and actions”, really only apply to white people right now. It makes sense that many of us (white people) want everyone to have the freedom to think and speak as they wish, and that’s a fundamental part of our country that can’t be compromised. The problem is that what happened this weekend was NOT free speech. It was the harassment and threatening of citizens of this country, and that is NOT acceptable.

        3. Unfortunately, while it is true that not all white Americans are descended from slave owners, based on race alone, white Americans unilaterally benefit from the structures that were created by and promoted by white Americans who came before. While the law should “hold us accountable for our individual choices and actions,” the law is not applied as fairly and evenly as it should be. So while we “can only be accountable for our own [actions],” today, we must act with the knowledge that we will be less likely to be stoped and frisked, less likely to face assumptions about our up bringing or family status, and less likely to be ___________ — the statistical list continues. Laws are only a sound as the people that interpret and enforce them.

          1. Yes, Rebecca! Thank you! I was raised in a 99% white middle class area in Florida and I know my life has benefited from being white and middle class. I try to remind my peers that although they may not have been handed a perfect life, they still have had it way better than others due to their race and socioeconomic status. It’s true that I never owned a slave, and neither did my parents or grandparents, etc. However, I have lived in a country where the scale has been tilted in my favor for a very long time, and I am aware of that and I can admit it. That is all that most of us are asking for-just some honest awareness. I am anti-hate and anti-cruelty across the board and what happened in the past two weeks is unacceptable.

        4. I could not agree with you more, Elizabeth. Especially ending with the Martin Luther King Jr quote that needs to be spread around like wildfire. The only way to combat hate is to spread love and to act in love.

        5. The distinction here is that simply by virtue of being caucasian in the USA we are already “ahead,” whether we are first generation or DAR. It doesn’t matter about your ancestors and whether they owned slaves / supported slavery. What matters NOW are the current ramifications. While I appreciate your attempt at parallels they aren’t correct here — too many societal, sweeping implications.

      2. Nope. We need to start judging people on the ‘content of their character’ not on their skin color, etc.

      3. Wait, are you saying that the only reason white people don’t own slaves right now is that it’s illegal?

        We need to speak out strongly against racism where we see it, but its not fair to our young people to hold them responsible for wrongs that were committed by other people.

      4. I don’t think its fair to young people to burden them with ‘sins of the past’ – sins they had nothing to do with, that have no relation to them. At some point we’re going to have to move forward, and work toward real equality. To sit around and look for people to blame for past wrongs becomes counter productive at some point. Stand up for what is right and good and move forward. You cannot right the wrongs of the past by creating new wrongs today. (or as Mom used to say: Two wrongs don’t make a right).

        1. I agree. I have noticed this in recent years, for example all the angry posts about Christopher Columbus. I think it is great to take another look at history and see it from a different perspective but dwelling too much on the distant past is fruitless. Its also easy to demonize people who lived long ago when in fact they were a product of their time, just as we are today. I think what is more helpful is to analyze how the past shaped the society we have today and how we can avoid repeating the sins of the past.

        2. I agree that it’s not fair to blame anyone (not just “young” people) for sins of the past. But there are plenty of sins of the present of which I and many others have reaped the benefits. Many of us have had excellent educations, and opportunities, and jobs, and a good number (though not all) of us are prosperous out of proportion to our rightful share. Whereas I don’t believe that prosperity, peace, and the luxury of pursuing the perfect pouf is a zero-sum game, I have to confess that I have benefitted from policies and social structures that have served to give me a leg up at almost every step along the way (albeit not as much of a leg up as my male counterparts). It is only by recognizing that what was set in motion when the first slaves were brought here is far, far from over — and doing what we can to set things right — can we we move forward.

      5. Sorry, Samantha, but you are missing a very important point here. Your statement, “I believe white Americans do, in fact, bear a collective responsibility for all subtle and overt racism in modern America ” implies that only whites can be racist. NOT TRUE. Racism can come from any race and be directed towards any other race, anywhere on the planet. Racism is not unique to the United States, nor is it solely perpetrated by whites. I’m sure you did not intend for this comment to be as offensive as it comes across.

    2. I agree Lauren 100% !

    3. Lauren, this article was helpful for me when I was trying to figure out my personal culpability in America’s racist past.


      1. “All of us White people” benefit from the society we live in, even if we are poor, or Jesus loving, or have experienced strife and poverty. We see ourselves represented everywhere we look, to the point where we notice when it’s not there. It doesn’t matter if our families were never slave owners. We still benefit.

        Here’s a frivolous but important example: When Black people are in shows on TV, it becomes a “Black show”… or the press fawns over the “FIRST BLACK” Bachelorette! How newsworthy! That’s White privilege.

        1. Thank you.

        2. On point.

        3. I think it is important for the white community to discuss their role in this time and place to cross racial divides, and while the media might highlight “black” tv shows, I feel this is more embraced and highlighted by the black community itself. If the white community is going to bring peace, healing and restoration, then I think it’s important that the black community also be open to peace and reconciliation, but movements like “black lives matter” maybe more damaging to peace between black and white communities than helpful.

        4. I had to laugh at this one, since it’s literally called BLACK entertainment network or BLACK entertainment awards. White people certainly didn’t name them that, lol. Bc if they named something White Entertainment Network it would be considered racist. It seems that most people hold the opinion that we need to talk about racism more. I think that is actually magnifying the problem. People are constantly – constantly! – pointing out differences between race and treatment and privilege etc. Wouldn’t it be more loving and accepting and healing to point out similarities? It seems so obvious to me. For example I saw a meme recently about a black cop keeping the peace at some KKK protest, and the meme pointed out his nobility in protecting people that wished him harm. Which is absolutely true, it is noble. And it’s also what thousands of other cops of every color and belief system do everyday – they protect and serve people that wish them harm (the good ones do anyway). There aren’t memes about them. Why are we always in a rush to point out if someone is black or white? Instead, can’t be point out if someone is a good person or a bad person?

          1. Oh wow, Jessie. Instead of being frustrated by your comments, I’m just going to guess you have some growing up to do.

          2. I completely agree with you jessie

          3. Hi Jessie,

            Let me preface this comment by stating that I came to this site for design ideas and had no desire to discuss race relations but your comment has prompted that—so much so that I read your comment yesterday and woke up this morning thinking about it!

            The BET comment in particular. Let’s explore this. I’ve hear this comment “if they named something White Entertainment Network it would be considered racist” entirely too often and must state how flawed this idea it.

            Allow me to explain why. Essentially every major network on television could be considered WHITE entertainment network; it is owned by white people, operated by white people and the performers on these shows are predominately white. It has been this way since the beginning of television!

            Jessie, do they really have to call this White Entertainment Network or is it not obvious?

            BET- Black Entertainment Television was made out of complete NECESSITY. It was made from black people who were tired of having their stories rejected, tired of the Beulah and Amos’n’Andy stereotypes, lack of sponsorship and network support, black actors and actresses STRUGGLING to get roles because they did not look and fit the mainstream ideas that the leaders of these networks were in search for (which still happens to this very day) and black people who were simply exhausted from knowing that the gatekeepers to that industry were predominately white people and the only way they could possibly get in was to build their own network.

            An example of this in early television is the Nat King Cole Show which was forced to cancel because national sponsors feared being boycotted in the South for supporting a black man. This may be “history” but it is reality and it has deeply impacted where we are even now.

            Many of the struggles we have when speaking of race relations in the country stem from one group of people being truly OBLIVIOUS to how another group of people feel. It’s a relief that people can have genuine, open dialogue…albeit it on a Design Blog!

            Good Day!
            Kuku Martini

      2. Kelly, great article link. I encourage everyone on this thread to read it.

        I think it is natural to react strongly to being called a racist – “not me! I didn’t have slaves! I have Black friends! I voted for Bernie!” But when I take time to listen to others, process what they’re saying and consider my own privilege that has been afforded to me because I am white, I realize that I am complicit in a racist system, and that a little discomfort with that reality is okay. It is nothing compared to the burden of being a part of a systematically oppressed group of people. White friends, we can handle the discomfort and should work towards accepting our complicity and figuring our what our own roles in changing the system will be.

        1. Thank you for saying this.

        2. Exactly Rachel!
          And amen to Emily for speaking up.

        3. Well said.

        4. Absolutely! Anyone still confused by their participation should listen to Brené Brown’s FB video on Charlottesville. We young white people are NOT off the hook in helping heal this country. We are a key player.

        5. @ Kuku Martini I really didn’t want to reply to any of this, but your reply really touched me. I am white and privileged. I cannot bear all the talk about how racism has gotten better. I’m privileged because I didn’t have to fight to get in college because of the color of my skin, or get my first job, or not be asked to step out of my car for a burned out tail light, or send my kids to the private school in my neighborhood. No one looks at me with their nose turned up or thinks I use drugs or have a felony, or am on ‘welfare’. It has never been that way for POC. So anyone who talks about how times have changed and racism is in the past, wake up. Read and learn from your neighbors or other people of color. Racism is alive and violent in our country and with a racist potus, it’s getting worse. Stop racism wherever you see it, stand up for POC, learn about their struggles as you go about your perfectly white day, and learn to love instead of judge.

      3. Thank you for sharing this!!

    4. Well, it IS white people’s responsibility to dismantle the system. We CREATED it, now we must destroy it. White supremecy benefits ALL white people. To pretend otherwise is to dismiss the whole conversation. Although we weren’t the ones holding torches, we need to take responsibility and become allies to the marginalized. To acknowledge that our country was built upon racism, to note that being colorblind is harmful, and to listen to folks of color are great first steps.

      1. ” White supremacy benefits ALL white people. To pretend otherwise is to dismiss the whole conversation.” This is key. So many white people do not understand this.

        1. Kellyjo and Danielle,

          “White supremacy benefits ALL white people. To pretend otherwise is to dismiss the whole conversation.”

          I would argue that White Supremacy hurts EVERYONE. I don’t know any white people who are not deeply pained and disgusted by supremacists; supremacists’ actions are a blight on society.

          1. I strongly agree with Jane.

          2. Jane, I think you may have misunderstood some of the phrasing here. There is a marked difference here between the societal faction who are defined as “white supremacists” and the so-called “supremacy” of whiteness over other races. I think the comments above, about white supremacy benefitting all white people, are with reference to the latter, to the reality that whiteness affords a level of privilege arguably unavailable to any other race. I don’t think KellyJo and Danielle are trying to suggest that those who organize and march about under the banner of white supremacy are benefitting us in any way, but rather that historical claims to some inherent white superiority (claimed in myriad ugly and costly ways) continue to benefit white people enormously.

        2. Agreed, Danielle.

        3. Agreed! Danielle. Thank you. When you have the awareness, it’s hard to understand when people don’t.

      2. Dismantle what system? Elaborate please.

      3. THANK YOU

        -brown person

      4. Thank you Taylor. These are key issues, a good starting point. And thanks to AlsoJane for clarifying. I could not say it better or more succinctly.

    5. Lauren, Thank you. Although viewing life through a lens that only sees extreme contrasts may make it simple and easy to take ones passionate and self righteous side, life is actually very blurred and complex. It takes intellect to see it that way. Maybe that is why our Prasident took a little time to address the nation on such a serious problem that has landed in his lap.

      1. It should take NO TIME to publicly denounce NAZIS.

        I have infinitely more to say, but no, no President of the United States should waffle on his or her denouncement of racism and bigotry. Period. End of story. There are not other sides to be seen on the issue. Yes, Trump can take a moment to be fully briefed on the specific events of the terrorist act, but it should not take him DAYS to publicly denounce the TERRORIST GROUPS.

    6. Thank you, Lauren, for enlightening us with your MLK wisdom.

      It must be the sweetest thing in the world to wake up and so easily dust history off your shoulders. To say, hey, don’t look at me.

      Now if only us brown and black folks could do the same — sweep decades of oppression and hate away as if it were lint.

      That would be so nice.

      1. YES! Thanks you ES. You aren’t getting it Lauren.

      2. ES – it is your choice to rise above history and make your life greater and better for yourself and your culture. I do not ‘dust history’ off of my shoulders, rather I make a conscious effort to love everyone and treat them how I would want to be treated. YOU have the power to shape your life – good luck!

        1. Lauren, respectfully, it is difficult for our fellow black and brown citizens to simply try to make life better when every system in our country- educational, healthcare, judicial- gives them a disparate experience than a white person, simply because of the color of their skin. Just because you and I both live by the golden rule doesn’t mean that people of color get treated equally or justly. It is our responsibility to make those changes in the world.

        2. Preach, girl.

          Preach this message to all your white friends.

          Because they, for the sake of humanity, desperately need to hear this. To feel it in their bones, like you apparently do.

          Thank you for making this world a better place.

      3. I would upvote this comment 1000% if I could.

      4. It’s called forgiveness, not brushing off hate like lint. All the bitterness and hate is just breeding more of the same.

    7. I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that white people are ‘absolutely not responsible for anything to do with our past.’ As a white person, I have benefited from generations of white privilege and the fact that racism still exists means I/white people have not done enough to overturn the institutions that have established those privileges. I was not personally bearing torches or screaming racists epithets last weekend, but my silence throughout my life regarding racism and racist policies is its own form of violence. Similar to the idea that painkillers treat a symptom not a cause, we cannot solve the pain of hate and racism without identifying its roots. If white people cannot accept responsibility and understand the basis for policies that benefit white people to the detriment of other skin colors, we cannot overturn those policies and drive out hate.

      Emily, thanks for posting. I’m looking forward to reading the comments.

    8. As a fellow white person, I respectfully disagree with this “not all of us” notion. You and me, as white people, benefit from a system of privilege whether we like it/want it or not and to deny that you are part of this system is wrong. Sure you might not consider yourself or your family or even anyone you know to be “racist” but that doesn’t dismiss you from the problem. White Privilege is exactly what allowed this “tolerance of intolerance” to happen in the first place and it IS our job, whether you consider yourself part of the problem or not to speak up against these crimes and injustices, whether or not you feel directly responsible for them. We can only move forward by talking about it and taking action to improve the social environment around you. This might mean making a donation to an organization who supports marginalized people (SURJ, SPLC, ACLU, BLM…. just to name a few) or might be something a simple as saying something the next time your neighbor/friend/well-meaning Aunt says something even vaguely racist. If you don’t want to associate yourself with the problem that you benefit from every single day (whether you’re ready to admit that or not) then you are the problem. It’s time to step up and speak out and not the time to deflect blame.

      1. thank you. All that agreement made my stomach turn.

    9. I agree about the “all us white people” comment. I understand the notion behind the statement and that it is our privilege to just watch this stuff happen and not speak out about it and that we SHOULD speak out about it.
      I believe in the notion, “do not punish the child for the sins of the parent”. I do my best to be better than generations before me- I do not partake in hate-speech and violence towards other people and I didn’t vote for the person who condones such hate and violence.

      I think, like everyone else, I’m very upset, overwhelmed and confused about what to do.

    10. I’m originally from Nashville, and I remember the Klan having marches back in the 1970’s. Now I don’t think “NashVegas” allows these marches–why? Because hopefully (1) the group is smaller than it used to be (though I am sure it still exists) and because (2) the march eventually drew more protesters than supporters…what city would welcome this kind of violent brouhaha? And yet last night on the news Gov Matt Bevin (of Ky, which is where I live now) was making statements to the effect of “removing Confederate monuments would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ akin to the third reich…” WTF, Matt?!? *Smacks self on forehead*
      I do think one mistake is to equate every Trump supporter (well okay, VOTER bc how many actual supporters does he have now?) with these white supremacist jerks, or even with racists. And yet on the campaign trail we had a man standing up and saying racist stuff, and hundreds of listeners were cheering…if you cheer for a racist, what does that make you?
      My husband is not a native English speaker (nor is he white), so I had to explain what a “white supremacist” was by breaking down the phrase. It occurred to me, these people think that by being white (and American) they’re somehow better than everyone else, that they’re first in line for *something*. I hate how they try to twist the Gospel to suit themselves–guess what folks, Jesus wasn’t white!! And Jesus said, “”The last will be first, and the first will be last.” That’s what He thinks of your twisted nonsense.

      1. “If you cheer for a racist, what does that make you?” Such a poignant thought, Susie thank you! I live in Texas and have many conservative friends and acquaintances. I have struggled to put into words the hypocrisy of saying “I’m not racist” but supporting a documented racist. Very well said.

        1. Being conservative does not make one racist.

          1. At this point, it does. Pick a side. Either with the white supremacists or against.. If you sit there and say “well I’m a different kind of conservative” understand that by saying so, you are indirectly (or directly) supporting white supremacists to everyone else in the world. Because your party is now the party of Nazis.

          2. But the racist are in your midst. Trump has always said racist stuff – going back to central park five (google it) to Judge Curial –

            And this was not a deal breaker to GOP. If you vote for a racist/ whit supremacist/ Nazi sympathiser – then you are exactly against racism. Not by deeds.

            Also – mass incarceration, drug war, gerrymandering by race, trying to unravel voting rights won by the civil rights act = this are all racist policies of the GOP happening right now. So yeah… If you ain’t standing against it, you’re silence says you’re for it. Take this moment to reflect and do better.

            We need 2 parties. Racism and racist policies should be the tenant of neither.

          3. Exactly. Because Statlin was a socialist (and worse, a communist, like good old Bernie), and I’d wager Ms. Henderson’s and most of the left’s political ideology skews that way. Statlin was also responsible for the murder of at least 20 million peoole. See the correlation here, people? Hate is hate. It comes in many forms. I most certainly don’t support the alt-right, but I’m not joining the left, either. Not as long as violence and destruction is a part of their agenda.

          4. Apolgies. It’s Stalin – I know. Don’t act like you’ve never made a fat-finger tired-eyed typo.

    11. Uh, what? I think she’s recognizing as we all should, that we live in a society with systemic bias against people of color — the fact that most black men in the U.S. live in fear of getting unfairly pulled over by a cop or the fact that people with more “ethnically identifying” names have a significantly harder time getting jobs, and that hiring managers time and again choose candidates that seem like the best “cultural fit” aka have a similar background to themselves — is a challenge that we collectively need to address even our subconscious biases; just as all white men are not directly responsible for holding women back, there are a lot of cultural biases that do contribute to the glass ceiling.

      Obviously, no one is saying it’s your fault directly that that white racist idiot killed that innocent woman, but I think the onus is on all of us to not just criticize the hate and intolerance of these pathetic neo-Nazis, but to also look inwards towards our own intolerances and biases, as small or inconsequential as they may seem.

      Of particular concern, to me, is how segregated our society has become — it is possible to live in a suburban gated community and go day and and day out without any direct exposure to people of color — as a privileged white person living in these areas, it’s all to easy to just dismiss the plight of black people in our society and not actively do anything, or even consider how adverserial our culture has become to those deemed “other.”

      Yet, it is our collected efforts that will bring us together towards a more equitable and tolerant society. And this is something that we all must own, individually and collectively.

    12. I want to add a thought to this line of conversation. Through the past years, I have come see the truth of institutionalized white privilege that benefits me b/c I am white skinned. It’s easier for white people to participate in American life. Regardless of my ancestry. But, I emphatically disagree with the line that “White sepremacy benefits all white people.” Y’all, white sepremacy is evil and is a lie! Evil benefits no one ever. No one benefits from white sepremacy, not even white sepremists, (though they don’t know it.) Whites do not benefit from having frightened neighbors and friends. Whites do not benefit from having an over-inflated sense their own greatness. No one benefits from evil. Specific areas of life are certainly easier for whites b/c of white privilege, but it is not good … for people of darker colors or for people who are white.

      1. I would just like to encourage everyone from getting hung up on semantics. These conversations are great, but to criticize someone’s well-meaning (and overall positive) comment is to discourage that person from participating in future discussions. I hope everyone who wants to see this hatred ended feels emboldened to continue these conversations without fear of being told they aren’t doing it right. Brene Brown recently said “To opt out of the conversation because you can’t do it perfectly is the definition of privilege.” Yes we will fumble and make (well meaning) mistakes, but we have to try, and we have to start somewhere.

    13. Lauren – Emily’s last paragraph said *our society* and yes, that includes white people. As for privilege and racism, there is a distinction between acknowledgment and blame. You are not being blamed individually for the institutions that have contributed to racism & privilege – but you’re being asked to acknowledge them. I love the opportunities I’ve been given here, and I also believe I have the power to shape my future — but maybe I haven’t had as much power as others. And the accomplishments I have made, I’m told by others that it’s only because I’m a minority woman and firms have diversity quotas to fill. I’ve been noticing a troubling trend with this past weekend’s events of people making it about themselves and say it’s not their fault what happened – and that’s true. I just wanted to make a distinction that as long as you’re not a white nationalist, you are not directly responsible, but you are responsible to think outside of that and be willing to listen to the groups in our country that are shouting at us to listen. I encourage using any platform available to you to spread that message. Here’s another handy MLK quote:
      “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

    14. True. I am not a racist and know of only one in all my fifty years. I won’t let this get pinned on me.

    15. I Don’t Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy
      Red Pill Black

  4. I am very liberal, but I still think these people have a right to speak out. While “hate speech” seems to have an obvious definition, it can easily be manipulated, eroded, or misconstrued to limit other, less noxious forms of speech. For example, many on the far right believe that Black Lives Matter is a hate group promoting hatred against police officers. Who should decide what is hate speech? This does not mean accepting this speech AT ALL. It means drowning them out with more, positive speech – and voting in elected officials that will do the same…

    1. I totally agree its tricky and certainly so many gray areas … but I think there is often a clear distinction. xx

      1. Emily – to YOU there is a clear distinction, but would you trust the Trump administration to make the same “clear distinction”. Therein lies the danger of limiting hate speech. Dialogue and free thought eradicates ignorance, not limitations.

        And, just FYI, Karl Popper was a prominent thinker of the 20th century, and is well regarded generally, but hordes of his equally well respected peers disagree with that snippet you shared and probably have more data and history to back them up. It would be useful to seek after people who actually know what has worked to de-radicalize hate groups, rather than pick a very old quote that most liberals don’t hang their hat on.

      2. I don’t think any of us want to live in a country where speech is censored, however repugnant the speech is. The Supreme Court has very narrow guidelines for speech that isn’t protected. It’s one of the hallmarks of our society. Anything else moves towards Big Brother.

        1. No it does not move toward Big Brother. Hate speech has to be censored. Repugnant speech has to be censored. The police should have shut down that march. It was not a unite the right march- it became racist nonsense when the torches and Nazi flags came out. Could Islamic people have marched in the street with torches? Could Black people have? This march would Never have happened in many countries around the world.
          The States has been mythologizing itself for far too long. It is not the only country with free speech, it has a terrible record for social services, it has enormous problems with it’s prison system and yet the citizens seem to constantly be talking about it being the greatest country in the world. it’s not!

      3. I would urge you to do a little reading on the 1st Amendment, esp. comparative law with countries that don’t have free speach. I too abohore these people and all the vile things they say (was repulsed as usual by the President’s response) but governments never go after popular ideas. The ACLU (to which I belong) has a long history of advocating for these principles and even did so in this case. Of course these remarks are limited to speach alone and do not apply to any actions, violence, etc.

      4. This is an interesting article from a few months ago about how, historically, speech codes (in a campus context, at least) end up being invoked to protect majority rather than minority groups: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/words-which-by-their-very-utterance-inflict-injury/523344/

    2. Part of being liberal is believing people have a right to speak, whether you agree or not with what they say. ‘Liberal’ is derived from ‘liberty,’ love of which is supposedly a core American value. But the rest of us are also free to reject what they say, vocalize our objection and to avoid contact with such odious human beings, though I hesitate to class them in the same species as myself and other civilized folk.

    3. I completely agree. I think the push towards such tightly controlled group-think is alarming. This should absolutely be unpopular and looked-down-upon speech and shouldn’t be dignified by public officials, but it should not be illegal. That’s a dangerous precedent that is, as you said, easily manipulated by ALL imperfect people.

    4. I think the point is that the kind of “protest” that happened this weekend didn’t belong under the “free speech” umbrella. It was squarely under “threats and harassment” which we should not and cannot accept. Also, “free speech” while wielding assault weapons cannot possibly satisfy the “peaceable assembly” criterion, which requires that those gathered be “not inclined to perpetrate violence.”

    5. totally agree. no matter how disgusting the speech is, our government should not silence it. OTHERS can silence it by, as the commenter above pointed out, drowning them out or telling them it’s not tolerated. but government taking away first amendment rights because the majority of americans don’t believe in what the speech is? no way. that sets a very dangerous precedent. and emily, i know you obviously don’t agree with the first amendment reasoning since you put it in quotes above, but it’s important. as is calling out and stopping racism. there is a way to accomplish and protect both. now, inciting violence or actually performing a hate crime? of course there should be–and are–laws against that. and i acknowledge that the line between inciting violence and practicing your right to (loathsome) free speech might be blurry under certain circumstances. but a blanket statement that hate speech should not be tolerated is absolutely dangerous. in any event, i generally agree with your sentiments that what has happened is terrible and worrisome.

    6. I agree with this comment. As the Black Lives Matter movement has progressed, I have tried to have an open mind and heart. To examine both societal injustices and my own personal blindspots. I like to think I’ve grown in understanding and empathy, though I certainly have a ways to go. I have been uncomfortable making a hardline stance on BLM though, b/c 1. some of their rhetoric scares me. There are groups and speakers (not all, but some) traveling the country, making speeches about killing white people and so forth. Honestly, I was shocked when Beyonce and her dancers came out at the Super Bowl two years ago in Black Panther type outfits, b/c of the type of organization it represented. It confused me that we as a nation were happy to praise this cultural reference. 2. On the flip side, I haven’t felt compelled to speak out against BLM, b/c I’m not black. And I really don’t know what’s it like to live in our country, with its history and racism. But, as I listened to the more intense rhetoric, I would often wonder, do all my black friends secretly feel this way? In conversations and more, it’s clear that there are nationwide, centuries old issues, big and small! And whether BLM is the right way forward, I don’t know, but it’s a lie to act as if life is not hard here for our black brothers and sisters.

      With the rally that occurred in Charlottesville, I think a lot of us white folk are responding SO intensely, b/c their sentiments are polar opposites of where we sit, as you said, regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum. And you write the sentence, Emily, I AM AGAINST THIS! (and feel crazy, b/c DUH), but you say it anyway, just in case your black friends are thinking, do all my white friends secretly feel this way? You want to be loud and clear, that you are against it!!!

      I’ve read a bit about the political theory of the horseshoe, which has been something to think about in understanding some things. I think a lot of people, both black and white, actually fall in the U part of the horseshoe, not the extreme ends. As far as a way forward, the only thought that came to me was some sort of campaign about the fact that I have never and will never see my neighbors and the kids at our school as enemies. They are my neighbors. Neighbors, not enemies. I work for the good of my community, the whole community.

      Just some thoughts. Thanks for a space to share.

    7. The Black Lives Matter movement has never denounce other humans or ‘less than’ or ‘less deserving’ so that BLM folks could have their rights. Black Lives Matter is about creating more seats at the table. It does not matter if “the far right” chose not to research what the BLM movement does. Black Lives Matter has clearly stated their principles time and againhttp://blacklivesmatter.com/guiding-principles/, which is to act *against* bigotry and hate. White supremacy groups are the exact opposite. Comparing the two forces is apples and oranges.

      1. I think another crucial difference is that when those police officers were shot in Texas by a man who believed himself to be carrying out the desires of the BLM movement, the BLM people were swift in their condemnation of violence and that terrorist act. The white nationalists do not distance themselves from this criminal who killed an innocent girl in Charlottesville but brag about it while blaming the other side for provoking them to be violent. As though showing up chanting incendiary slogans, bearing torches and bearing assault rifles is not provocation.

    8. Agree! Legislating “hate speech” isn’t the answer. Positive speech is the best way forward. There’s a great article in Foreign policy about this topic. I think this statement sums it up well: “The most egregious and harmful forms of hateful speech — threats, harassment, and incitement to violence — are already unlawful. When it comes to less definable forms of abhorrent speech, there is no single standard for what qualifies.”

      Here’s the link to the article: https://www.google.com/amp/foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/14/the-problem-with-making-hate-speech-illegal-trump-charlottesville-virginia-nazi-white-nationalist-supremacist/amp/

    9. As a libertarian, I very much agree with Lauren. As much as I despise what those people have to say, not allowing them to say it is not the answer. I don’t have a problem with the restrictions already in place on rhetoric that incites lawlessness or violence, but I believe that any speech falling short of that should be protected by the first amendment. The right that those people use to spew hateful things is the same right you and I use to legitimately criticize the government, and that is a right I believe in and will defend.

    10. Yes!
      …And .I do feel though (at the risk of sounding like my grandmother) that these days, there are a lot of things happening that surprise me, work me up, upset me, or simply make me go “WTF!?!?!” There are people driving vehicles into crowds, there are babies being aborted at 20-36 weeks, there are two and three year olds abused and murdered, there is still human trafficking and slavery, there are police officers murdered, and there is this… These days, I’m scared for a lot of things and reasons! We (my mom brought me and my sister here in 1993) came to this amazing country, with nothing, but great hopes of building a better life. And now, I fear for my own two kids. Not because I am ignorant, but because I am genuinely worried about what we are making of this country (and world) for the next generation(s)….. All the arguing and fighting will never solve anything. Live in Grace, Walk in Love [Bob Geoff]. That’s the only way!

  5. I’m so upset and overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do – I feel like this is consuming me. I’m leaving for a vacation across middle America tomorrow morning and I’m hoping this will be a good way to escape the 24 hour news cycle. I don’t want to escape fixing this country, but I’m in no shape to do any good when all I can do is cry.

    Thank you for writing this.

    1. Quit watching CNN!

      1. Its a sad thing, but the news media has financial incentive to keep us stirred up about the news. We tune in and continually check in, and this makes money for them. The grievance industry and main politicians also gain power and financial benefits from keeping us stirred up. We definitively have work to do to improve our society, but we don’t need to allow ourselves to be used by these people.

  6. Thanks, Emily. There are some days when pretty pictures just don’t cut it.

    Love you and your team!

  7. This week, and the response from the administration has been incredibly upsetting. Thank you for addressing what’s happening. It’s weird to me when something so huge is going on and blogs pretend that everything is normal. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

  8. Yes to this! Thanks for saying it publicly.

    This kind of poisonous hatred is not acceptable. We need to learn to live together without hatred, without violence – or the threat of violence.

    It takes courage to stand up to bullies, but they must not be allowed to get away with this.

  9. So if people protest to have the Washington or Jefferson monuments torn down, will you side with that? I don’t support racism at all. I am biracial! But I don’t think it’s right for people to protest something in public and expect to not be counter-protested. Now I mean that in the sense that it should be done peacefully, but protesting rarely ever is peaceful. It seems like those who speak out against something they don’t like have the mentality of ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ and that goes for both liberals and conservatives. How do we go about accepting each other’s opinions and not using them as a basis for hatred and therefore a justification for violence?

    1. There is no justification for violence but there is also no room for pro-Nazis anything in our society. We should not erase the history of figures such as Robert E. Lee but statues and symbols like them, along with the Confederate flag, have no place in our public parks or government buildings.

      1. Maybe these events are useful in that we’re able to see how many DO protest against them. But protests and anti-protests must be non-violent.
        I lived in mainland China for a few years–no protests of any kind are allowed. We should appreciate our inalienable right to speak out.

      2. Please consider this: the Confederate flag stands for one side of the battle in our war between the states. The flag has, unfortunately, been hijacked by hate groups as a symbol of something they have come to believe in and want to use to further their agenda of hate and intimidation. It is not the flag’s fault. The flag is NOT, I repeat, NOT a symbol of racism. Please go back and review history and the causes for the Civil War. None of my ancestors owned slaves; they were poor people from Appalachia who were tired of having their land stolen and their women mistreated, so they stepped up to defend the Confederate States, which were at that time being dominated by the Union. Which had plenty of slaves of its own. Please stop saying that the flag, and statues of people who fought for the South are merely symbols of racism. Yes, slavery WAS an issue of the Civil War, BUT, was not THE issue. Prior to the Confederate flag, George Washington owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. I’m sorry that happened. It is horrible that men would enslave men. But slavery doesn’t define every single issue of what is now racism in modern America. Please stop blaming the Confederacy. That is a slap in the face of thousands of good men who gave their lives for a purpose that in many cases, had nothing to do with slave ownership. All lives matter

    2. “largely, Confederate monuments were built during two key periods of American history: the beginnings of Jim Crow in the 1920s and the civil rights movement in the early 1950s and 1960s.” Those all need to be removed.

      1. And to what end? More of the same? It doesn’t change history to try to sweep it under the rug. We need reminders of history, the good, the bad and the ugly, or it will teach us nothing.

    3. Also a key point that many news agencies are not reporting that I think would change the dialogue: over 90 percent of the statues are being moved to museums. The ones that aren’t are being carefully preserved in storage, none of the statues are being destroyed. They are protected by law as historical monuments. So this is really a non-issue, people are claiming that their removal is destroying history, when they are in fact being moved to areas specifically FOR remembering history.

  10. Amen.

    1. Unrelated: I got ready to write a response, saw this and said, “I agree, but I didn’t write this…”

      We share the same name 🙂

  11. Yesszzzsas! Haven’t even read it yet, but regardless of what I will read, I’m so proud of you for taking a stand and sharing. We need to, all of us.

  12. It is sad that racism still exists but I agree with two previous comments. The quote by Martin Luther “hate can’t drive out hate, only love can.” Also we cannot mandate what is and isn’t hate speech and people should be allowed to think and speak as they wish. People say things all the time I don’t like or agree with. Depending on the situation I share my differing thoughts and opinions in a calm manner or I just walk away if the other party is too agitated to listen. It’s called adulting.

    Lastly actual things to do to help, this article by Southern Poverty Law Center is a starting place, “Ten Ways to Fight Hate.”


    An excerpt that resonated with me, “Do not attend a hate rally. As much as you might like to physically show your opposition to hate, confrontations serve only the perpetrators. They also burden law enforcement with protecting hatemongers from otherwise law-abiding citizens.” Some of the violence would have been prevented if an opposing rally had rallied elsewhere. The article says to still hold an opposition rally, just do it in a different place in town. I hugely agree with this one.

    1. Wise! The less media attention these fringe weirdos get, the less fuel they have for their torches.

      1. Good point – the media make money by keeping us stirred up, continually checking in with them, watching and commenting on their sites. Its kind of sick if you think about it. Makes us thing most people are awful when most people are decent and just trying to get along.

    2. Sorry, in writing quickly I said Martin Luther, not Martin Luther King Jr. Please excuse my hurried mistake.

    3. The rallies were in different places. Both sides got permits. The end of your post sounds a lot like victim-blaming to me. Some of the worst “violence” came from people driving their cars into a crowd. I’m not sure how “rallying elsewhere” would have prevented this.

      1. @ Steph – YES. Elizabeth, this sounds a LOT like victim blaming.

        “Why didn’t they get a permit?” “Why not rally somewhere else?” “Why was her skirt so short?”

        There’s no excuse for that disgusting display. Side issues do nothing but obscure that fact. Additionally, walking away from this kind of hatred is cowardly, especially if you’re white (because then you’re in a position of power not afforded to POC).

      2. By the time the car incident happened, the people were all in a lather and chaos had ensued. The counter protesters came in from all over the country. This appears orchestrated (who called in the opposition in advance of this event?) You’ve got to know BLM and Antifa are going to clash hard with Nazis. This was a nightmare that could have been prevented…..if people had wanted to be peaceful, they would not have been there. No one’s innocent here.

    4. I would love for the high ground of ignoring this to be a safe bet. My feeling is we tried that during the election cycle. I’m not sure we can afford to experiment more, and we’re gambling with human lives.

      I’ve seen the same few MLKJr quotes thrown around a lot this week- for example, the ubiquitous “Hate cannot drive out hate.” He had a wide perspective that I feel is not being served by the limited scope of representation.

      “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
      Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

      – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Peace and love is great, but not if it is an empty mantra to hide the complanency of non-engagement.

      1. Wow, Deb, that quote is so powerful. Thank you for sharing.

      2. Deb, thank you for sharing. All week people have been twisting Dr. King’s quotes. As a person of color, as someone who understands history, it is painful to me how people recast his words. He was a person who took a strong stance, who never stayed quiet and who ultimately sacrificed his life. Also, lets not forget that, in his time, he was regarded by many Americans as a dangerous, divisive, radical agitator, and he was targeted by the FBI. The quote you cited is very appropriate here.

  13. Oh, Emily. I am totally on board with your sentiment and know your heart is so good, but once again you are living in a bubble. I would NEVER want to live in an America that curtailed anyone’s free speech, whether I agree with it or not. The majority cannot and should not ever dictate what the minority says in public. It is a very dangerous slippery slope. From a good place, you would limit people’s ability to say hateful things…but who defines these hateful things? Some are very clearcut obviously, but what if Trumpsters of the world then use these “hate speech laws” to control people speaking badly of elected figures, or cults, or the EPA? I really love our constitution and can indulge a few negative consequences of a system that is arguably one of the best in the world. If you haven’t yet, you should watch a Handmaid’s Tale so you can imagine what a law like this could do in the wrong hands.

    I bet are values on practically everything are very similar, but from one good hearted liberal to another, one of the things you and I can both start doing, is resisting the urge to divide ourselves from our Republican or conservative brothers and sisters in middle America. The loud and rabid voices of conservative talk radio, etc. would have them believe that “liberals” are ruining America. They are purposefully and successfully dividing people who have so much more in common than not. This is how people are radicalized. And are we, as liberals guilty of the same sometimes? OF COURSE. I think for starters it is helpful to have kind and thoughtful discourse with people even when we don’t agree with them. It is also helpful to diversify our circles. Don’t unfriend someone because they are always posting things you don’t agree with. Ask them about their thoughts and beliefs and the life experiences that brought them to those beliefs. I do think that there has been some harsh equating of republican values with racist values in the media. Falling into that trap that “the South is only full of backward hicks” denigrates way more than helps, and probably drives some on the margins to the hate you want them to avoid.

    Lastly, I know this is hard, but we should treat these acts as we would any terrorist group because that is what they are. Don’t overblow what a minority messed up fringe group is saying or doing, (And yes, MURDER and VIOLENCE should be overblown and rooted out and punished) but empathize and reach out to those who may at risk of joining. In no way would restricting speech in public places be a step in the right direction. I would fight you tooth and nail against that.

    1. as a republican from the south (BUT NOT A RACIST, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? 🙂 ), thanks for acknowledging the harshness of that seemingly automatic equation these days. also, on a lighter note, seeeeeee? we do have things in common with those from different political camps…all of us here have an interest in and read daily blogs about interior design! 🙂

      1. Didn’t someone very important say “Throw pillows can unite a country” 😉

        1. HA. I think so 🙂

  14. Thank you for this. And for acknowledging our white privilege and the responsibility we have as white people to do what we can to change things.

  15. Thank you so much for addressing this. It gets more and more depressing everyday to see what is happening to this country. I feel disgusted that we have a president that seems to condone this, or at the very least, tries to blame both sides equally. I honestly feel like we have to stand up to Trump and demand better from Congress. I have been calling and writing my Congressmen daily to ask them to please do something, to hold Trump accountable. I have truly terrible Congressmen and they are both Republicans who just look the other way with Trump. The only way we can improve things is to get out and vote and get new leadership in for 2018. Trump has got to be impeached. He’s a toxic sore that needs to be excised from America along with his white Nationalist advisors.

  16. You are amazing for this. Completely agree with every point you have brought up. We are going backward on things that should be eradicated by now, for God’s sake it’s 2017 not 1917!

  17. I am a white, conservative, Christian woman who is very religious and I am deeply ashamed of those people and their actions. I’m appalled and very afraid of the future. I love this blog and Emily and like, Emily, I like seeking out differing opinions than my own. It’s healthy. I don’t have any easy answers, though. We all want mostly the same things, I think: to be able to raise our children in peace and love, pursuing our own version of the American dream. If those versions differ from my neighbor, that’s OK. As long as you are not harming others (which would include making them fear for their safety), then that’s your prerogative. I’m crying out inside. My only consolation is that these people are fewer in number than decent citizens. I have to believe that. They are few, we need to be louder. Thank you Emily.

    1. Thank you for sharing your persepctive.

  18. Thank you for not being afraid to discuss this, it’s so important!

  19. If you haven’t watched Megan Phelp’s Roper’s Ted talk on how she realized she was in a hate group…do it now!


    Love and unity for the win.

  20. I’m glad you spoke out and wrote this column. Its important to say.

    To answer the questions in your third paragraph. There’s a whole body of constitutional law defining the parameters of free speech. Its why voting is so important: we elect people to then nominate and confirm judges, who interpret and develop that law.

    This is a good read: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-gets-wrong-about-antifa/537048/?utm_source=fbia

  21. I’ve struggled with this so much over the past few days. One of the things I’m finding helpful is going back to Martin Luther King’s sermon on Love Your Enemies (available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=522wcqUlS0Y). He talks so eloquently about the ravages of hate, and I find I need to hear that right now. And if an African-American man living in the South in the mid-1900s and watching his friends and neighbors suffer for the color of their skin – a man who ultimately lost his life to this same evil we’re talking about now – if HE could be loving, then I don’t have much excuse to fail in this.

    I think the piece about the paradox of tolerance is incredibly challenging for those of us who have always taken such pride in American tolerance and free speech. I will go back to Popper to understand further. Something that keeps ringing in my head is that, historically, across nations, one of the classic precursors to genocide has been when it becomes acceptable to use hate speech on a broad level. Words matter, and they always have.

    My heart is breaking that this is happening in our country.

  22. Remember that voters sanctioned Trump’s support of alt-right supporters. This is what troubles me most. How many people in the U.S. secretly don’t care when nationalists gather?
    But one thing we cannot do is allow the government to repress free speech. Ain’t going to happen. It’s what our country is founded on — the 1st Amendment.
    Do note that the amendment does not prevent private companies from censoring others regarding their companies — i.e. Google and Facebook, which seem to be more willing to cut off extremists. And the 1st Amendment does not allow free speech to devolve into violence.

  23. Hi Emily,

    I’m a longtime reader and fan. I’m also African-American. I’m horrified that this is a thing in 2017. I hate that not too long ago, people old enough to be our grandparents – if they’re still living – sacrificed their youth to fight a war to prevent the very things that are taking place now. It’s embarrassing as an American, and it’s shameful to know that we struggle to move past it. There is no easy fix to the problems we have centered around race and hate, especially those that keep occurring even now. But posts like these, and encouraging others – especially those who don’t look like others in this country – to not be afraid of having this conversation and to denounce divisive, hateful ignorance and intolerance is a great start.

  24. I’ve found Shakesville’s insights really helpful, especially when it comes to tracking how we got to this point. She has a very honest and intellectual approach, which is what we need to address these issues squarely. Cup of Jo also had a post this week featuring 8 Ways to Help after Charlottesville, which some may find useful too!

    1. Sorry – I also meant to add that I totally appreciate that you’ve written about this! Such things are too critical to ignore. Thank you for touching upon white privilege and responsibility – it’s an often unpopular response, but SO important.

  25. Thank you for speaking out. Every one of need to do so, and especially now. And loudly!

  26. I feel this.

  27. I’m so glad you wrote this and just constantly wondering how much more we have to take before people take note of the parallels in the run up to WWII. Individuals have a role-but the people in our government better get on the goddamn right side of history.

  28. I think speaking out and being informed in as important as ever. As White people we need to do our part to speak out against racism and not silently or passively observe. Being a White Ally is not an easy idea to pin down, but some of it has to do with NOT waiting for people of color to educate those who are confused or ignorant. I found the Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves to be very helpful for conceptualizing Whiteness and Blackness in our culture today: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1By9bUjJ78snEeZuLXNGBdlVMJgEQWMEjR-Gfx8ER7Iw/mobilebasic#heading=h.bi12zdslqy3z

  29. Thank you so much for using your blog to talk about this, Emily. I feel helpless about what happened last weekend too. I don’t believe that most people are inherently evil or deliberately racist, but I do think that complacency by those of us privileged enough to not have to deal with racism (white people) contributed to the events of last weekend. We need to stop looking the other way and think “this doesn’t apply to me.” Because it does. Now I understand that not speaking up or taking action is a passive endorsement of the hateful behavior that took place in Charlottesville. Kudos to you for realizing that too and trying to find a way to help. I’ll be following the comments for suggestions as well.

  30. Thank you for this. I love your blog already. Now I love you too many are remaining silent as bad things happen.

  31. Preach Emily! Another fan who is with you 100% on this.

  32. Southern liberal here (yes, we exist…in larger numbers than you think)! I have so many thoughts on this. First, I agree with the commenter who supports the alt-right’s free speech, both for the reasons she mentioned, but also because free speech protection only goes so far. These people aren’t protected from losing their jobs, their friends, their family. The more they speak out, the more they will be condemned. Second, I agree that the south has never been free from our complicated past, and racism is certainly alive and thriving, but I have lived all over the country and I can say that this is not just a southern problem. I have heard just as much, and more overt racism in northern states. This is a very real problem in our country, and often “liberal” areas are largely white areas and they are more racist than you would expect. All white people ARE responsible, as you said. It is up to us to stand up to racists. I’m sure all of us have encountered a racist comment or incident and didn’t say anything. We’re taught to be polite and not offend. It’s time to offend people who breed hate.

    (I hope this makes sense. I have a newborn and I’m having a hard time being articulate at the moment.)

    1. I’m a jewish southern liberal and I have thought a lot about this. I completely agree with everything you said. As much as I hate it and as disgusting as those people are who say hateful nasty things, free speech should be allowed. Let them be known and outed…at least we can see who we are fighting against and they can be judged for it.

  33. There IS a group specifically set up to attempt to re-educate/pull out neo-nazis and they just lost their funding. Now would be a great time to consider making a donation to them.


    1. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  34. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. We are living through a terrible time in American history. But you are right – saying “Nazis and white supremacists are bad” is NOT partisan. It is just true. I think now is the time for white people to take a deep look at what we are doing, what we are ignoring, what we aren’t calling out, what we are willing to accept. Start with reading, then start talking to other white people about racism, about privilege, and about what we can do to stop it. I recommend two things to read: 1. What is white privilege: https://nationalseedproject.org/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack and 2. How to be a better ally: https://www.buzzfeed.com/anotherround/how-to-be-a-better-ally-an-open-letter-to-white-folks?utm_term=.pxwjZKeVA5#.wvylrK2ApJ

    It isn’t enough to not be a racist, we must be actively anti-racist.

  35. Donating to the NAACP and the ACLU certainly help as they fight legal battles in behalf of the marginalized. If you are white, please don’t sit back. It is our responsibility to help clean up the mess because we have the power. If you think you don’t, please consider that in the US black women are more likely to die during childbirth than white women. Our privilege extends to every facet of life.
    “With great power comes great responsibility.”

    1. The ACLU has and will continue to work on behalf of white supremacists and the like, because they believe everyone has the right to free speech. If you believe neo-nazis should be given space to spew their hate speech, do NOT donate to the ACLU. It’s a bummer, but true.

      1. I’ll start this off by saying that I absolutely find the beliefs, thoughts, and actions of Nazi’s and the White Supremacy movement as disgusting and wrong. And I also think you are well within your rights to withhold money from an organization you feel isn’t acting in line with your values.

        I wanted to give a little support to the ACLU on the off chance that someone comes through and reads your comment, gets outraged and then does no further research on the matter. I’ve included a link to the ACLU’s blog with their take on defending free speech when it comes to hate groups at the bottom of my comment which is more eloquent and explains it better than what I’ve done below.

        The ACLU is and has defended white supremacist and other hate groups right to free speech and their right to march. They also defend all of our rights to do the same thing no matter how much a minority the view points are. Those of us on this message board are pretty much in agreement that Nazi’s are terrible but when you decide this is the view point that should be banned from being spoken where does it end? Defining hate speech is not just some black and white thing and I don’t want our government (especially this one) to start deciding what we can and cannot say based on the morals of the majority at that time. There are those that say that the Black Lives Matter’s movement is promoting hate speech against the police and whites. Or not that long ago perhaps you could argue that the marriage equality movement is hate speech agains the ‘sanctity of marriage’. Or any athiest viewpoint is hate speech against religion. Saying anything agains the President being against America. Not the best examples but hopefully you get the point. It’s a slippery slope.

        Not only that but banning their right to free speech is only going to make it that much harder to open up a dialog to hopefully change their mind. All it does is shoves them underground (so to speak) and while perhaps they can’t say it in public anymore now they are only discussing it with like-minded individuals and further creating an us vs. them mentality.

        This is why it’s so important for us to speak out when you hear a viewpoint that you disagree with. We should be trying to open a dialog and change their thoughts and minds on this stuff. Just shutting them down and telling them they can’t say things like that removes that opportunity and further isolates them and makes it harder for us to show them that what they have been taught/believe is wrong. Telling them they can no longer speak their views does not change their mind it just makes it easier for us to ignore them and pretend that view doesn’t exist.

        Now, that’s not to say they have the right to be violent and incite violence while expressing their views. And we can have a whole other discussion on their right to bear arms while expressing their views (which I am against). They are/were intimidating and awful and my heart hurts for Charlottesville and the communities most effected by their rethoric and actions.

        The ACLU wrote a blog post regarding this which does a better job of explaining their defense of the permit for the march (gathering?). https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/equality-justice-and-first-amendment.

  36. Thank you, Emily. We are in a frightening time. I appreciate your courage in speaking out, and I agree with you.

  37. This is part of a post I shared on Monday in response to the Charlottesville march, explaining why my feelings on this were more messy than I expected:

    “My Dad recently did a genetic test and discovered he carries just under 1% DNA originating from West Africa. “Huh, what does that mean?” you might wonder. Well, it means a few things: First, it means that 8 generations back, my paternal cousins and I have an ancestor who was 99% certainly an enslaved person. The otherwise Lilly-white complexion of the other 127 ancestors in that generation leads to the undeniable conclusion that the other part of that “couple” was a Slave Owner. The offspring of that union was likely also enslaved and also part of a pairing that produced yet another generation of my ancestors. At minimum there are two slaves and two slave owners on our family tree. (It’s very likely that there are other slave owners in that generation as well, only they won’t be outed in our particular lineage.) These white people spreading anger, fear, and violence? They belong to ME. They are my kin, my distant cousins, aunts and uncles, and as such they are my responsibility. Their hateful actions are mine to suppress, condemn, shame, and overpower. This is a White Person Problem, and as a white person, I own a piece of that.

    So my feelings about this March are feelings of anger and condemnation, and also an amount of culpability. The world these folks want runs literally in my veins. I am a product of white power, privilege, and supremacy, and that makes its dismantling MY responsibility. These people are literally my people. If I don’t come for them, who will?”

  38. I’ve been wrestling with feelings of culpability since the events that transpired on Saturday, predominately because I am a white woman, living in the south, benefiting on a daily basis from a system that is so infected with racism we don’t even see it anymore. I march with my brothers and sisters of color at Black lives matter events, I have family members of color and close friends that I advocate for and speak out for on a near daily basis, and still I share culpability. What concerns me more than literal Nazis marching down the street, and and based on conversations I’ve had with friends and family of color – what concerns them more as well, is the subtle racism that has infected America. They can see a Nazi coming at them from a mile away. They can get away from a Nazi. A Nazi is a wolf they can recognize from a far. What they can’t see, and what is inherently dangerous for people of color are the subtle racists- who the vast majority of the time don’t even know they are racist. It’s the liberals who move into a gentrifying neighborhood and decide that the public-school option available isn’t good enough for their white children. It’s the congregations in the church that are full of people who preach love and acceptance and are criticizing Colin Kaepernick on the sidelines. It’s White women screaming against the injustice of $.78 on the dollar, meanwhile Latinas are dealing with $.55, and black women are dealing with $.68 and they offer silence. This is what racism looks like in the United States. Yes, it can look angry and scary, but for the most part it is like a snake in the grass that you never see coming. Nazis in America will sort itself out. We all know it’s wrong, and they will hide their heads in shame again. Our energy should be focused on the snakes in the grass. It should be focused on weeding out the racist that exist within the Democratic Party, in our places of worship, in our homes, and among our friends. It should be focused on helping white feminists understand how dangerous that rhetoric is. It should be focused on dismantling systems of oppression and policies that specifically and subtly target black and minority communities. We should all be taking good, long look within ourselves and asking “how am I contributing to this problem”, because the reality of the situation is as white Americans even if we are actively trying to dismantle the system we still contribute. This work is hard, and it is tedious, and it is exhausting, but it is just and it is worthwhile.

    1. Wow Victoria. I think this is very well said and a really amazing way to look at the state of things. Thank you for providing another angle. I agree with Emily’s words and yours, but hadn’t looked at things is this particular way. I think it’s incredibly well thought out and well spoken.

      1. yes, this comment has really moved me. Thank you Victoria.

    2. This is perfectly said, thank you.

    3. Totally agree with this. Well said.

    4. Yes.

    5. Thank you, Victoria. What a well put and important message.

  39. Thank you for taking a stand, Emily. I totally understand how scary it can be when in other’s eyes you are just a “blogger” or “designer”, so why post about your political views? Well you are a human, too. And a good human at that. I am an owner of a retail shop and throughout this past year, I have taken a solid stand on the political issues I care about. At first, I had many people angry with me for speaking my political beliefs when I’m just a “brand” — but the truth is, my brand is an extension of who I am. My following and customer base is now a politically driven, creative, strong, diverse, and mix of women. I love that. Now, when I post about donating to the ACLU or SPLC, I don’t receive rude and hateful messages because I have weeded out those people. Am I saying we should all have the same political views? No way! I totally respect people who have different opinions on economics, tradition, and issues such as church/state. But when it comes down to being a blatant racist? That’s where I draw the line.

    Ways to help?

    1. Listen to the thoughts and concern of people of color. Do not ask them “how can I help?”, we need to do the work for ourselves. They don’t owe us lessons on how to defeat racism. We created it. Yes, white folks. We did.
    2. Donate to causes you care about, even if it’s just a dollar. Shop with a politically driven mind — don’t give businesses your money if they are sympathizers/supporters of alt-right ideals. Your dollars matter.
    3. Do not center your activism around whiteness, and don’t try to be “colorblind”.
    4. Don’t believe that you are being a “good white person” by posting a quick Instagram post of “LOVE NOT HATE” or “THE WORLD NEEDS A HUG”. What the world needs is the work to be done. The difficult work of dismantling a system that has our country was found on.
    5. Acknowledge that this all existed before Trump became president; he has just given them a voice and platform. Notice how the KKK don’t cover their face anymore? They have replaced face hiding white sheets for kakis and white polos. They aren’t afraid to hide under our current administration.

    1. Taylor, your “Ways to help” are fantastic. I rarely see these sentiments laid out so simply and succinctly. Grateful you took the time to comment and will be sharing this with my white friends.

      1. Still a lot of learning to do myself. Thanks for sharing with friends!

  40. Without getting into any of the politics of it, I think perhaps you need to educate yourself a little on the constitution. You asked “Since when can they use their ‘first amendment right’ to chant publicly about it? We allowed this??” As a matter of fact, this is the essence of the first amendment. This is EXACTLY what the constitution has guaranteed every citizen for over 240 years. What the constitution does NOT provide is freedom from you being offended by what someone else says. Just because you don’t like or agree with it does not give you, or anyone, the right to shut someone up. Chanting, in and of itself, is not violent. So yes, this is allowed.

    It is certainly repugnant and vile and offensive, but even the ACLU has protected the rights of the KKK to assemble and express themselves. “Defending the rights of groups that the government tries to censor because of their viewpoints is at the heart of what the First Amendment and the ACLU stand for, even when the viewpoints are not popular,” says Brenda L. Jones, executive director of the ACLU-EM. “If we don’t protect the free speech rights of all, we risk having the government arbitrarily decide what is, or is not, acceptable speech.” (https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-em-defends-kkks-right-free-speech)

    And for the record, I am actually offended by your statement that “all us white people are responsible for this”. But I support your right to say it.

    1. Trixie, what happened this weekend was not “free speech”. It was the threatening and harassment of citizens of our country while wielding assault weapons.

    2. The first amendment right only guarantees the right to speak without being arrested — it is purely a protection against the unjust use of law enforcement. What it does NOT protect against is (1) Incitement, defined as the advocacy or immediate use of force or lawlessness, (2) Obscenity, both personally abusive words and words that inflict personal emotional distress unless that are reasonably understood to be hyperbole, and (3) False Statements of Fact, among other limits. There is precedent from Supreme Court cases that define each of these limitations.

      Please provide evidence to prove that the verbal chants and personal statements made to counterprotestors were not indeed language of incitement and obscenity. Furthermore, the ACLU’s protection of the KKK’s right to assemble is an entirely different right to that of free speech, and also has its own limitations by law.

    3. It’s unfortunate that you;re focusing n a critique of Emily’s statements rather than making a good-faith effort to address how we might move forward. You may be technically correct, but that does not make you right.

  41. All I can say is thank you! Thank you for not being afraid to speak up. Thank you for using your platform. Thank you for the desire to do more!

  42. Thank you for writing this. I also feel speechless and helpless too. Being Jewish certainly compounds it and I feel somewhat targeted in addition to feeling sick over the rhetoric against other minority groups. I keep hearing people say things like, “for anyone who wondered what they would have done in Nazi Germany, this is your chance”. But chance to do what? I can talk about it and be scared until the end of time, but that doesn’t DO anything. I realized I’m especially privileged to live in Boston and have my share of white privilege, but I’m still at a loss. Surely there must be SOMETHING. I vote for the “right” candidates, I try to treat people the right way, but that’s clearly not enough to change things.

    The one thing I have to respectfully call out is your line about “The south hasn’t ever been free of its past”. It’s not just about the South (I grew up in SC).

    I think the North vs South thinking is part of what fuels this partisanship rhetoric that ultimately pull apart like minded people. If you look at Democrats vs Republicans, you get a huge divide that’s in the ballpark of an even split. But if you look at the number of politicians (assuming for a moment that that’s a representative sample of our country), the number of pro-protest vs anti-protest is strongly leaning toward condemning the protests that took place. This is how we should be thinking as a nation about what is right and wrong and what direction we want to go in as a whole, not as a two party system.

    Just my thoughts. I appreciate seeing bloggers and influencers such as yourself speak out. You have a great platform to reach many people.

  43. One way to help is to help our children. I think we can raise up a new generation of more loving, more compassionate, less racist men and women. And it can start with the stories we read them. Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves blog has an excellent, thoughtful post about this today. http://www.readingmytealeaves.com

  44. thank you.

  45. Thank you for writing this, Emily. My experience with you through your blog is that your heart is in the right place, and you take pains not to speak outside your experience. I find it admirable.

    Every single white American benefits from racism, even if we don’t intend or want to. If there are white Americans who don’t want to examine the past, examining the present would be a good place to start.

    Uniform non-violence is an excellent ideal. I don’t know that expecting it from people being threatened by Nazis is a priority. It would be very easy for me to preach “peace” at a time like this, for one reason: I’m not the one they’re coming for. Yet.

    “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
    Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    1. Well said.

  46. The line between free speech and hate speech is a legal one and is actually very clear. Simply put, where speech is so hateful and public that it invites people to commit acts of violence on the group against which the hatred is directed, it stops being “speech” and turns into violence and at that point is no longer afforded constitutional protection. The question then becomes, were the alt right protestors simply expressing their views (which must be protected) or were they trying to incite violence against visible minorities? I wasn’t there but I am guessing (based on what happened next) it was the latter. Incidentally in Germany if you even put a Nazi symbol on a surface in a public space, you get arrested. They know first hand the danger of giving hatred a microphone of any ilk.

  47. Yeah, totally agree with you emily. I do also wish our last president would have done more in regards to this matter. Groups like Black Lives Matter (who started out with the best of intentions) and other “anti white” groups certainly dont help to unite. Not once were these groups condemned when some members did something hateful (and there have been several incidents and DEATHS). The truly hateful signs I saw from people at the womans march, was also appauling (Im not speaking about the signs that spoke for actual womens rights. Im talking about the ones tht had nothing to do with the event). Nothing about extremism represents “love.” Being of mixed races myself, and speaking from my mostly immigrant family, we just put our best foot forward everyday and do our best to contribute to society. Making connections with other citizens and putting out love & kindness is the most inportant thing in my opinion.

  48. So agree. Thank you for speaking out! (Also: how ticky-tacky were those tiki torches?!)

  49. Thank you for not remaining silent on this issue.

  50. There is a difference between partisanship/disagreeing and racism/hating. The more we can separate those and see them for what they are, the more likely we can move forward. Thank you for stating this so clearly.

  51. Hey Emily- I totally agree with what you are saying. As a white woman, it angers me and pains me so much, and I too want to better the world but haven’t been sure as where to start. God made each and everyone of us in his image & that should be celebrated.

    Here is an article about why being “colorblind” isn’t helpful:

    And a resource on connecting people of different races to help better understand and love minorities. I’m hoping to link arms with a few friends of different races to work through their curriculum and better understand what I can do to be a part of a positive change.

  52. I was waiting for you to speak out about this and I am so glad you did! You set an example for all of us when you use your voice and your platform to stand up against injustice and I was a little concerned that we hadn’t heard from you yet (unless I missed something earlier). Thank you for continuing to be a brave voice of reason in this crazy world.

  53. Free speech is freedom to say what you believe. If you start passing laws to limit any type of speech you open the door to oppression of all types. Just because you don’t like what someone says, doesn’t mean you have the right to silence them. It’s a double standard. Would you like to be silenced by a government that doesn’t like what you say? …for the record, I’m against racism, white supremacy, and hate speech…so I can speak up against it. I’d hate to have that right removed.

  54. I found the latest talk on Brenae Brown’s page to SO insightful.


  55. Emily, I am so touched by your thoughtfulness and willingness to reflect. This is one of the first blogs I turn to when I need to decompress and lose myself in beautiful things. You and your sweet family have put a smile on my face on many a day. Given your recent decision to combat any negativity that pops up around here, I’m even more touched that you took a stand to address this, given how conversations surrounding race can be volatile.
    I want you to know this is exactly what people of color are looking for in white allies. Speak up, any way you can, in the best way that you can. You may not always have the right words, and your feelings may get hurt along the way, but have to courage to say something, anything! Marginalized people have to find the courage to just exist everyday in places and situations that are unfriendly, hostile, or downright dangerous. Hurt feelings and egos pale in comparison to this.
    Additionally, please listen as much or more than you speak. I think so many white people are shocked right now because they have failed to take head of the protestations of black people and POC, or dismissed them as exaggerations or over-sensitivities. As shocking as this is to you, for many of us it is the status quo. What happened in Charllottesville is certainly shocking in scope, boldness and visibility, but is good old fashioned American racism to the rest of us. It is as American as apple pie. It is not something “The South” has never been free of, it’s something America has never been free of. I hope my white friends in their liberal bubbles realize this. Hostility is just as likely to exist in Virginia, as it is in California. I’ve seen as many confederate flags flying proudly in Pennsylvania and Maryland, as I have in my home state of Georgia. White supremacy knows now geographical boundaries. All white people are indeed responsible for talking to your friends, family and community members. Thank you for saying that out loud. It’s uncomfortable to address, and doesn’t mean you personally have done anything wrong. It just means you recognize that people are more likely to listen to reason from people who look like them, and unfortunately the people who are waving swastikas look like you.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    A Scared But Hopeful Black Woman

    1. Amen.
      “Marginalized people have to find the courage to just exist everyday in places and situations that are unfriendly, hostile, or downright dangerous. Hurt feelings and egos pale in comparison to this.”
      As a white woman who wants to do better, I am steadying myself and opening up.

  56. First, I do not support and strongly hate events such as those that occurred last weekend. It is my opinion that hate groups for all “causes” should be made illegal and disbanded by all means necessary by our federal government. Hate groups are not confined within state lines and they affect the nation, therefore it is a federal issue. I do not feel that our leaders are to blame for something like this happening because I have heard this language for years and it is much longer than the Trump administration. Our society has very large issues: We are more divided than ever through race, income inequality, sexuality which is finally becoming more accepted, religion, and others.

    Too often when our government attempts to help, it only makes things worse. For example, questions on demographics make me cringe as I am ashamed to reply that I am a white, American, gay, millennial male. No one should feel ashamed for being who they are or who they were born to be. These questions make me hate who I was born to be because of society pressure and I cannot help that. I am still made to feel guilty no matter how active against whatever the wrong issue may be (racism, sexism, etc). Hatred cannot be tolerated at any level of any kind.

    Our President is very much in the wrong for playing into the politics of the event, especially for his comments about Washington, Jefferson, etc. There is no tolerance for a “what if…” or a kettle vs pot scenario. These comments do not make it justified, only feed the fire. For me, I feel that a step forward in eliminated the bigotry, racism, etc is to acknowledge that we are all the same and stop glorifying the differences between each other. We are all different, but we are also the same. A child does not look at his/her friend of a different race and think that they are different…they see them for the person they are. Maybe we would benefit from seeing each other through the eyes of a child.

  57. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for saying something.

    If anyone hasn’t yet watched Brené Brown’s Facebook Live “We need to keep talking about Charlottesville” I can’t recommend it highly enough. Brené is so insightful.

    One point she makes that I think applies here is that there’s a difference between Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Speech without Consequence. For example, there’s not law against telling my boss to GFY, but there will be the consequence of probably losing my job. I’d be held accountable.

    So what I’m thinking about this week is: how do I effectively contribute to holding people accountable for doing or saying things that hurt us?

  58. Yes!! Totally in agreement with this. This weekend made me sick to my stomach. This cartoon comes to mind about free speech: ://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/free_speech.png <– yes.

  59. Very well put and I agree 100%!

  60. We haven’t changed, but there are those who due to their basic ignorance have a carte blanche to put their sociopathic tendencies on display now that Donald Trump is president!!

  61. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I know your brand has nothing to do with politics, but this means so much. Everyone needs to speak out, even though I totally agree, it’s so ridiculous that we are having to have these conversations, but it’s so urgent and important. Thanks again 💕

  62. I live in Charlottesville and I can honestly say that being here last weekend was terrifying. De’Andre Harris ( the man who was beaten with poles in the parking garage right next door to the police station) is a friend. Heather Heyer who was run over by a car and murdered, was a friend of a friend. These alt right people who were rallying here, do not even live here. They paraded around the UVA campus wielding tiki torches (which, LOL) while terrorizing students and essentially held hundreds of hostages in a church. Another man I know was beaten with a tiki torch, which caused a blood clot, which caused him to have a stroke yesterday. Charlottesville is a wonderfully diverse and open community and it is such a shame at these people would come to a town which they do not belong and terrorize us the way that they did. Watching Trump place blame on both sides is enraging and incomprehensible. I can tell you with 100% fact that the violence was initiated and encouraged by these neo-nazis. The protestors were not weilding clubs, they were not throwing bottles of piss. They were literally standing together shouting GO HOME! GO AWAY! and things of that nature. It’s honestly hard to believe this is 2017 and not only is our black community being oppressed, they are having blame placed on them for standing up for themselves. Unbelievable.

    1. Please relate your story to NBC, CNN, MSNBC. It’s so important to get the info from those of you who experienced it firsthand!

  63. Hi Emily, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate the willingness to state where you stand.
    I have an encouragement in how you understand what has happened. This isn’t about the South. It is the US as a whole. It’s about Wall Street being a slave trading place in early US life. It’s about Native Americans being forced from the land. It’s about redlining in US cities across the country. It’s not just the south who is “unfree” from its past. The south can’t deny it as easily as other places, but we are all bound up in these oppressive systems.
    Thanks for reading.

  64. We buy all goods made by forced labor/slave labor because they are less expensive to us and because they provide` “No labor problems” and no labor protections and a superior profit to the wealth class,through direct involvement-Trump father and daughter- and our stock market.

    We need a huge base of jobs with good pay,health care,pensions etc. We are more than vulnerable as a Nation when we are so dependant on sources( that DO NOT share our values) for everything we buy and use. The shelves of every store in this Country could be empty in days if not hours and we would be subject to whatever the present manufacturers might demand in the way of increased prices or even withdrawal of our presence around the World. A presence that now insures Peace.
    Bigotry drives this aberration of human decency, but desperation for a better more secure existence drives the Trump voter. The making of what creates our lives is integral to our pride and happiness. Enough with Human misery so that the Rich become ever richer,enough with their whining about taxes when they pay little to none. We need manufacturing jobs from the CEO in the penthouse office to the college grads who research,develop,manage and improve our lives- to the workers who-given the opportunity- would turn out a product second to none and proudly stamped in large letters. Made in America. Let the work force in other Countries enjoy the same and produce product for themselves with the income and protections to make that possible. We are stumbling backward into a past of such deprivation for most and obscene opulence for the few that Dickens-in his time, based his brilliant writings on exposing its cruel indifference to the light of day. I was a little girl when adults spoke in hushed and fearful voices of Hitler and how could he convince so many followers to support and salute his mad schemes to kill and kill and destroy. But convince them he did because reparations from the devastation of WW I had left the German people without work or hope. Please God don’t let this horror rise up again. Jobs are needed-millions of Jobs

  65. As much as I love throw pillows and paint colors, it’s hard to not feel very hollow talking about them in the wake of what’s going on in the world – so thank you Emily for just taking a moment to acknowledge what happened (and that there are no easy answers to what’s going on and how to move forward!)

    Just my two cents – I absolutely believe that the right to free speech is paramount to our democracy and has to be protected regardless of how hateful it is and I would stand up for the rights of anyone who peacefully protests even if I found their message vile and repugnant. BUT I caution anyone to think that the ultimate goal of these groups is to “just” exercise their free speech and open some kind of debate. The goal of these organizations (which they proudly express on their website and publications) is to suppress and bring violence against those that they view as inferior – this this is not up for debate in their minds and they are already promising that Charlottesville was just the “beginning”. This is why it’s so important to use our right to free speech to call these groups out, condemn their hate, and say “I do not stand with you” (in the political arena or just in blog posts like this).

  66. Germany created laws to handle this sort of thing…. There are now more Nazis in America than in Germany..

    And yes. Its the responsibility of white people to help take apart the system that was designed for them by them. When your uncle drops a racist joke at thanksgiving, it’s your duty to shut that sh*t down. Your silence is violence.

  67. Many of you know the work of Brene Brown – she did a facebook live yesterday addressing story, privilege, empathy and more in relation to what happened in Charlottesville that is really powerful. https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown/

  68. thank you for using your public platform to say this.

  69. Thank you, Emily. Well said.

  70. Hi Emily, thanks for this timely and important post.

    I’m an attorney and wanted to respond to the questions you posed about the first amendment.

    You asked,” We know these people exist but since when can they use their ‘first amendment right’ to chant publicly about it? We allowed this??”

    Yes, we allow this because The First Amendment to the Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content.

    I encourage your readers to go to the ACLU page on hate speech on colllege campuses but I’ll provide the important highlights below. May I note, the q&a on the ACLU site is excellent primer for these challenging first amendment issues and worth reading as well.


    How much we value the right of free speech is put to its severest test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends our morality or is hostile to our way of life warrants the same constitutional protection as other speech because the right of free speech is indivisible: When we grant the government the power to suppress controversial ideas, we are all subject to censorship by the state. Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has fought for the free expression of all ideas, popular or unpopular. Where racist, misogynist, homophobic, and transphobic speech is concerned, the ACLU believes that more speech — not less — is the answer most consistent with our constitutional values.

    To be clear, the First Amendment does not protect behavior that crosses the line into targeted harassment or threats, or that creates a pervasively hostile environment. But merely offensive or bigoted speech does not rise to that level, and determining when conduct crosses that line is a legal question that requires examination on a case-by-case basis.

    Restricting such speech may be attractive as a quick fix to address tensions But real social change comes from hard work to address the underlying causes of inequality and bigotry, not from purified discourse.

    I hope this writing, from the ACLU, helps you distinguish the protected speech from the noxious, dangerous and criminal behavior of incitement that was witnessed this weekend, that most certainly, is not protected.

    Again, thank you Emily for opening up this important dialogue and asking these incredibly pressing questions.

    1. Great reply! Thank you!

  71. Thank you for using your platform to comment on this very important issue, seeing this today made me feel a tiny bit better about the world.

  72. Thanks for writing this, Emily. This has been such a surreal few days.

    For those debating about our freedom of speech vs. hate speech, please take a look at the laws Germany designed post WWII. I think we could actually take a page out of their book.

  73. Thanks for writing this. It’s a surreal time in America.

  74. Thank you for this.

  75. I believe my comment disappeared and I am on your side???!!

  76. Thank you for this post! I listened to a report yesterday on the radio about how White Supremacists are celebrating the Presidents lack of condemnation as a great victory and feel more empowered and motivated than ever. Many more protests are planned on their side. Now is the time to resist and engage in non-violent protest to counter these insane people!!!

  77. Nancy Mitford, whose family was no stranger to the far right, said, in the 1930s as the Second World War loomed (and I paraphrase a little as I can’t remember the exact wording), “I see absolutely no need for fascism whatsoever, but I do see a great need to fight it.” I am English, and from my vantage point across the ocean I really feel for those of you in the US who are being represented by a man who in fact does NOT represent you in any way. The UK is by no means safe from this ugly crawl towards the right, and I just hope that there are enough of us in Europe and America that in the end, this period of history will be seen simply as a blip, and not as the beginning of something more vile.


    1. Nancy Mitford’s family was all over the map politically -from fascists to communists!

  78. Yes! Thanks for being brave!

  79. Please read this article. It lays out some real, actionable steps we can ALL do in our daily lives to fight these hate groups and their disgusting ideology, instead of just shouting into an echo chamber on social media.


    Thank you Emily, for writing this post, and keeping the conversation open.

  80. Amen. Amen Emily. This is how everyone I know feels as well.

  81. Thank you Emily. I found this post on “White Feelings for Charlottesville” really helpful and wanted to share: http://www.erynnbrook.com/white-feelings-for-charlottesville/

    1. Fantastic – thanks for sharing this, Hannah. I’ve forwarded it to friends.

  82. I am a conservative in a Trump-supporting state, and I’ve heard NO ONE support the white supremacists – anyone who might agree with them is not stupid enough to think that their beliefs are socially acceptable. Most people I’ve heard can’t believe they were stupid enough to try to PROTEST for their bigoted beliefs. Most people also can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to try to protest AGAINST a bunch of racist neo-Nazis – disagree all you want, but that sounds like a great way to get hurt or killed, to me, and I can’t say I’m surprised that’s how it ended for so many.

    Anyone perpetrating violence in these protests is a criminal and should be prosecuted as such. That includes anyone who “punches Nazis.” People are upset that Trump is condemning violence on both sides, but really, I don’t want ANYONE to be allowed to use violence, no matter how justified. Whether you think the “good side” was being violent is entirely aside from the point – unless you were there, I’m not sure how you would know.

    Hate speech, ironically, does more to make the white supremacists look bad than to convince anyone to join them – and for that reason, I 100% support their right to use hate speech as an ineffective persuasive tool – better that than logic and other much more effective methods. Hate speech is legal only so long as it isn’t threatening, though, which is a line that may have been crossed here.

    So take heart, even in hillbilly Trump country, racism as a belief system is not on the rise, from my experience. ACTS of racism are on the rise, but those people were always there, quietly racist in their own homes, quietly voting and working against the interests of anyone in any minority. Their vocal protests right now are at least a signal for us all to be realistic about their existence and acknowledge how terrible that belief system is and that it needs to be rooted out. How could we expect such crazies to go down any way other than fighting?

    1. Thank you for acknowledging that the white supremacy needs to be rooted out. Of course no one supports the white supremacists. White supremacists are racists with a capital R. They’re hard racists. But there is no end of soft racism in America today. I also do not agree that violence is ever the answer. But, both sides were not equal. One side was agitating for the perpetuation of racism. One side was opposing racism. The counter protesters were breaking their silence to loudly denounce racism. Staying quiet about racism is a form of soft racism. While you may think that the counter protesters were being stupid, I believe they were being brave.

      1. To be clear, my post said “racism” needs to be rooted out, not just white supremacy. I feel like you read the first line of my post and applied your own bias for the rest. I just keep hearing all these people who are worried that we’re becoming more racist as a country. I just don’t believe that, and I actually think that all of this upheaval is a positive sign – if you heard the things that people say behind closed doors in most of America (outside the liberal coast bubbles), you would not have been even a tiny bit surprised about the things that have occurred lately.

        These people (hard racists and soft racists) already existed. If they, are coming out of the woodwork, it’s because they feel the opposition. Lets remember, this all started because they were removing a horrible and long tolerated statue of a man who fought to defend slavery – Charlottesville decided to stop tolerating that.

        I understand that the counter protesters were standing up for some very good beliefs, I just don’t think that physically putting yourself in harms way helps anyone – brave and stupid are not mutually exclusive. We have so many better ways to stand up. Just because I think they did it in a very risky way and not all that helpful way doesn’t mean I’m being silent. That is an assumption you made based on your bias.

  83. Colleen!
    Spot on and thank you Emily for this post.

  84. I’m a white woman, raised in conservative Oregon. I knew one black person growing up. I moved to the south for college fell in love with an amazing man (who happens to be black) and we moved back to conservative Oregon. Now, I’m carrying our son. The events of this last weekend and really the events of the past 11 years of being with him have shaken me to my core. My husband is a beautiful soul. All too frequently lately he has been asked for the “black perspective” on all the hate occurring in our world. He always states that he must temper his reaction because people look to him and often dismiss his opinion of that of an “angry black man” when he shows the very deep, painful, and physical response he is currently having. I, on the other hand, get to state my anger vocally because I get the benefit of privilege. No one looks to me and assumes that I am naturally biased because of the color of my skin. As a white person I have a responsibility to acknowledge my own privilege and the constructs that bar the ones I love from sharing openly.

    This last weekend my thoughts have constantly been on my son that I will someday have to explain all this to. I will someday have to explain that people will hate him because of how he looks. I will have to explain to him that his safety is compromised because of unearned bigotry. I will have to explain that people will move away from him on the sidewalk and on the bus. That his name and race will make is more difficult to land a job than that of a white person with a white name. I will have to tell people that “yes, he is mine and no I did not steal him”. I will have to tell him he can’t walk down a street with his hoodie up at nighttime. He will know the be aware of his surroundings and not to cause trouble. These are conversations I never envisioned myself having, but will be a normal part of my life. The sad part is, my husband was told these exact same things 25 years ago from his father.

    We need this country to change. I need help from every white person to help protect my child and other children of color. If it takes a village to raise a child, please consider being a part of my village to raise my children in a country that accepts them on character not melanin.

  85. I am one of those who would be considered very Conservative. Although Canadian (thank the Lord!) I would also have voted for Trump… the nominees were horrible but between the two evils, Trump protected life and Hilary was determined to destroy it. You see, something worse than rallies and marches is happening daily. In your towns, your cities, your neighbourhoods. Hundreds and thousands of babies are being systematically murdered. More than were killed by Hitler. Right now the talk is all about Nazis, people who carried out Hitler’s work. He didn’t order them just to get rid of blacks, but also those who were considered weak, mentally ill, handicapped. He wanted a world of perfect people. Today babies are aborted because they ‘might’ be born with Down Syndrome, or a heart defect. Or perhaps a missing hand or the wrong gender. Every day babies are ripped apart and torn from the womb of their mothers. This happens to the most helpless of our society. I’m not sure if you read or watched any of the videos taken undercover at Planned Parenthood. Where their people discussed live babies being born, brains taken from babies heads while their hearts were beating. Heartless, inhuman actions…by people with less morality than Hitler’s Nazi torurers and gas chamber operators. Where was the rant then? The blog post?!
    The thing we really need to realize as a society is that every.single.human.life IS IMPORTANT. We are all perfect and beautiful the way God created us! We are ALL worthy of love and respect. We ALL need to stand up for the innocent, the persecuted. We need to unite. As a country your options were limited for a President. The one you have is now in because so many of you voted for him. Disagree with him or not, you also need to give him that same respect. Don’t treat him like dirt if you want other people to treat you and the rest of the world with respect. You can’t call for world unity ans love and peace while screaming obscenities about your own President! Because it is not going to change your situation. Practice love in your daily lives. Teach your children to respect those in authority over them. Those of different skin colours. They learn from you. Remember that your law currently allows for things like free speech, and sadly, abortion. You don’t like that Nazis can display their hatred of blacks but you enjoy the freedom of publicly disgracing your President. It can’t go only one way. That’s not democracy either.

    1. The president admitted assaulting woman with grabbing their genitals and forcing his “kisses” on them. They had to submit because he is a “Star”. This is the guy you feel should not be criticized?

    2. I know several Canadian conservatives who state that they would have voted for Trump, based on Clinton’s stance on women’s health alone. I personally don’t think you get to (theoretically) vote for candidates who work to cut education funding, reduce access to contraceptives, and gut social supports, and then turn around and clutch your pearls over abortion. Too little too late. Consider supporting candidates who promote abortion *prevention*. Sorry to skew off-topic.

      1. It has been proven that conservative policies (not providing access to contraception, not insuring birth control, promoting abstinance only sex-ed, closing down women’s health centers etc) actually INCREASE the amount of abortions. Seriously look it up – abortion rates are much higher in conservative states. So if you support the conservative platform you effectively are encouraging policies that will make more women go that route. Congratulations TAMSEN more abortions will happen because of your vote! Sit with that.

        1. Melkorka,thank you for making that extremely important point. I would be interested to read Tamsen’s response. Also, to find out how many unwanted, disabled children he or she personally has adopted.

    3. Thank you for this!

  86. I believe that we are experiencing our collective shadow made manifest. Bottom line…own your own ugliness…dont project it.
    We all have these qualities but they are so dark we don’t own them. Where do I blame? Hate? Create rifts…divide instead of include? Pick fights? Have to be right? List goes on.

  87. I think white people are pretty uncomfortable talking about race because we don’t have to. Race is something other people have. Whiteness as a race, though–and that’s not meaning skin color but the social construct–is not a neutral force. It is actively oppressive. We live in a country whose institutions actively reward whiteness even as they actively oppress color.

    By pretending to be colorblind, or refusing to have conversations around race, white people perpetuate the problem. The “this is not America” response to Charlottesville works the same way. This is, in fact, America. Donald Trump is not an anomaly, and neither are the klansmen who marched last weekend.

    Highly recommend giving Sam Sanders’ podcast “It’s Been a Minute” a listen. He did an episode this week discussing whiteness and Charlottesville. One guest was a developmental psychologist advocating for talking about race with white children (well, all children, but parents of children of color are already doing this because we have to) early and often. Children also aren’t colorblind, and giving them no education around race only creates a new generation of the same.

    Charlottesville is a white problem. White people need to start having these conversations about all the ways that white supremacy shows up in our culture–not just with tiki torches, either. Easy to see Charlottesville for what it was. Harder to recognize it in subtler forms.

    Thanks for the post and for initiating this conversation. I’d guess your readership is largely white and your platform is the right one for bringing this up!

    1. Elizabeth, we’re not allowed to ‘talk about race’. We’re told what to think, and harshly ‘schooled’ if we have a view or opinion that deviates even slightly from the accepted view – just re-read your own posts, or other posts on this board.

      Even if you’re an Innocent little white child born yesterday, you will be made to bear the collective guilt of people long dead, for people you had no control over and for events you took no part in. There is nothing you can ever do in your life to expunge this guilt, no price you can ever pay – your character, your actions, your heart, no matter how pure or noble, will ever clear you of this guilt you must be made to bear.

  88. Thank you for using your voice! That’s what I think we all need to do. This is no time to be silent. Thank you thank you! Don’t shy away, keep going xx

  89. If any person, including a white person, voted for Trump. You enabled a racist. Get over all of your excuses and justifications. He let us know from the beginning that he was a racist. If you voted for him, you were OK with racism. End of story. You might have looked the other way, you might have convinced yourself that he would not act on it. But if you are honest with yourself, you KNEW he was a racist then and he is still a racist now. And we should ALL have a ZERO tolerance policy for racism. People are people for the love to pete!!! Im so tired of the justifications, the twisting of words, the dishonesty and the rhetoric. It’s very simple, don’t be racist. If you were taught to hate, try some introspection, try making up your own mind. Be a decent person and stand up to RACISM!!!

    1. Yes, Lisa! Go get ’em!!!!

      Trump never pretended he was anyone other than who we’ve seen. Let’s recap Trumps documented racism:
      1. Refusing to rent to African AMERICANS who applied to live his his apartments.
      2. For years he kept the fake news going that Obama lied about being born on American soil.
      3. He attacked a Federal Court Judge, claiming that his/the Judge’s Mexican ancestary prevented him from being fair.
      4. He said all Mexicans are racist, murdering thieves.
      5. And now, he defends the rights of Neo-Nazi, fascist, “garbage faces”.

      If you’re surprised, then you’re living in a bubble too. But you know what, our bubble is better (yes, I too am lucky enough to live in CA). You know why? Because at least no one is going to die or be treated as less than human based on our world views.

  90. Bravo Emily. It’s great to see this post and be able have a “conversation” on a non-political site.

    In my mind this was a pretty clear case of hate is hate, racism is racism and both are evil. It’s important to call it out.

    I think the challenge is when racism, hate or other “ism” isn’t so clear cut or doesn’t fit nicely into a box of what it should be in our minds. No one person or group has a monopoly on moral superiority. I’ve lived in Texas and California – two states on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Both have a lot to dislike and a lot to like. There;s a lot of great people in both places.

    Assume the best intentions with people you don’t know or disagree with and encourage discussion. That’s one positive way to deal with what we’ve been experiencing the last few days.

    Sometimes it’s important to step away from the echo chamber where you live, get off social media and turn off the television and think things through on your own.

    Opening up design books and Pinterest and Instagram feeds (ok thats social media) can also soothe the soul.

  91. I just want to say thank you for speaking out, Emily. It is critically important for us white folks to speak up and show up, even if the racist in chief is going to equate us with nazis for doing so.

    I live in Canada, and I’m white, but made the mistake of checking the news before I went to bed last night and I was so terrified I couldn’t sleep. This is a truly disturbing development many of us could not have imagined. I think we just have to shout out loud that this does not represent us, in the world at large, and keep moving forward. We have to remember that though they are getting a platform right now, this is a very smal minority of people who may always be around, but who are obviously on the wrong side of history.

    And hopefully there is a way that lunatic will be forced out. My thoughts are with you all down there.

  92. 1. Hatred of those different from us has been around forever – even if some were lucky to grow up sheltered from it. I still remember watching the Nazi’s march in Skokie, IL when I was a kid and I am 51 years old. I’ve since lived in 4 cities around this country – and IT IS THERE – simmering under the surface whether we want to admit/confront it or not.

    2. The problem is that for some social/societal reason – it is becoming acceptable???

    3. The tide MAY be turning. Richard Spencer was scheduled to speak on the U of Florida campus September 12 as part of his first amendment rights on a publicly funded campus, land, property – whatever you want to call it. My son – a sophomore – was inundated with social media marketing – for both protesting and counter protesting. More marketing than at Christmas for the latest Xbox. Well – because of Charlottesville – President Fuchs cancelled citing personal safety – a standard required to cancel speakers on a public land.

    Read recent NPR article on these scary leaders organizing on and targeting college students as they feel that is their future.

    This is real and frightening. Just like Europe in the 1930’s when my grandparents told me no one could believe it either……

  93. White supremacy is the foundation of our land. When we summarily reject that statement as false or racist, we are showing our ignorance and racism. What we can DO is get educated so we can recognize the everyday subtle forms of racism that occur and speak UP. Yes, at work, at school, at church, at home. This is a good place to begin: http://professorshih.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-to-tell-if-something-is-racist.html

    Emily, using your platform to host a conversation is the kind of thing that needs to happen more often! Thank you.

  94. The ONLY appropriate reaction to these events is horror and sadness. There are no “sides”, it’s not a “political” issue. the fact that it’s even a topic of debate is disgusting to me. I appreciate you (and anyone else with a platform) speaking out. it becomes necessary when the president won’t.

  95. Well said, Emily. Thanks for finding words when I’m having trouble finding mine.

  96. Man, I love this country. I love my freedoms. I think if any of us spent some real time abroad we’d more fully recognize how good we have it. Let’s love our neighbors, not give so much heed to mindless idiots. Racism is ugly but I can promise you white Southern Californians it certainly goes both ways. You just don’t see it and your favorite media channels wouldn’t dare touch it. Spend more time outside your bubble.

    1. What do you mean by “it goes both ways”. Certainly you don’t mean racism goes both ways?

    2. I’m sorry, but when you say “we” have it so good, who are referring to? I assume you are a white person raised in this country?

      You should read Between the World and Me or Citizen – it might change your perspective on how “good” “we” have it.

  97. Emily, thank you for sharing your feelings. I’m with you 100%. I don’t have a lot of time right now to expand but wanted to say what I think you meant meaning “all us white people” is white privilege that we have whether we realize it or not. People have a really difficult time understading or recognizing that which is where I think that back lash is coming from. Us white people need to be more aware of that and how our inherent privilege affects others and what can we do to change/lessen that. It’s just awful what continues to be going on and it’s almost consuming. I think that’s a good thing though, we need to feel angry and stay angry and fight for change.

  98. Hi Emily, Thank you so much for this post! Words have failed me since Saturday. You have articulated exactly what I am feeling, but with more clarity, reason and grace than I can muster right now.
    I especially appreciate that unlike some lifestyle blogs I follow, you acknowledge the terrible situation our society is in, and have taken such a strong principled stand against hatred and racism. I yield to no-one in my appreciation of color and pattern, but we are in the midst of a national crisis here. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines or pretend this is not happening.
    We must all stand for the American ideals we grew up with or lose the freedom and peaceful tolerance we cherish.

    I’m donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center, writing to my Congressmen and Senators, and trying to be helpful in my community. It doesn’t feel like enough. It isn’t enough. But it’s a beginning.
    Again, thank you!

  99. Thanks for starting this conversation amongst your followers. I would stress that this entire country (not just the south, as you pointed out) has never been free of our racist past.

    I’d like to highlight a couple more resources that I found helpful this week.

    1) https://theestablishment.co/so-you-want-to-fight-white-supremacy-2b5735f22f9

    This article is a great read with some concrete ways to start to change the system of white supremacy. Here’s a quote from the article encouraging a focus on systems change.

    “You can spend the rest of your life fighting to win over the hearts of white supremacists one at a time, and if you won over one a week even, you would, at the end of your life, have not made a measurable dent in white supremacy. But systems, systems we can change. Because we all interact with the system of white supremacy, because we all uphold it to some degree — we all have some power to tear it down.”

    2) https://radicaldiscipleship.net/2017/07/05/white-supremacy-overt-covert/

    This visual shows examples of covert white supremacy present in our everyday lives.

  100. Thank you for your well thought out comments Emily.
    I agree that we are all complicit in this process. Even though I do not live in the US, as a ‘white’ person living in Australia I believe that in some way our lack of awareness and action has brought us to this point.
    We have really always know that this type of hate and intolerance was out there, and now, due to ‘the perfect storm’ we are seeing it out in the open. The behaviours of these white supremists and neo nazis are repugnant, shocking and disgusting.
    I fear that now that they feel powerful enough to be out there, how are we ever to overcome it/them?
    This is most definitely a terrifying time for, not only Americans but, all of us. The only positive is that we are perhaps being forced to ‘pick a side’ and stand up for what we believe in. We can only hope that good does win out over evil.

  101. In reading these comments, it’s apparent that there are so many thoughtful and well-intentioned folks out there. But I’m troubled by the idea several folks raised that just because their ancestors didn’t own slaves or they aren’t overtly white supremicists that they are somehow exempted from white privilege. Racial inequality might not be your “fault” but it exists. So if you aren’t doing your part to acknowledge how your race has afforded you opportunities and if you haven’t taken the steps to actively fight for the rights of others than you aren’t part of the solution.

    I’m a teacher and I explain to my students that learning something new, particularly learning something new about your self is uncomfortable and messy and it’s a process. Learning to confront privilege is not comfortable. But it is so, so necessary.

    This article (https://medium.com/@harterhealing/how-america-spreads-the-disease-that-is-racism-by-not-confronting-racist-family-members-and-friends-effb68da7e97) is helpful in confronting the cycle of racism in this country. Also, I recommend the novel ‘Waking Up White,’ particularly if you’re a person who has just begun the journey towards confronting your privilege.

  102. i fricking love that you wrote that this. the more i read your blog, the more i like you 🙂
    so nice to just hear someone use their platform which has nothing to do with politics/social issues to actually voice their opinions about these things. seriously refreshing. it’s real.

    also, i’m in total agreement.

  103. Emily, you truly are inspirational. I am so impressed with how brave you’ve been since Nov. 4, speaking out against things that are happening in and to our country and by stepping outside your blogosphere of influence (e.g. home, mom stuff) to do so. Lesser bloggers say nothing or quietly (and cowardly) go to other platforms to vent.

    You have amassed a huge following (through hard work, determination and talent) and have earned your status as an “influencer”. In these times, using that influence is the best thing you can do even if it may be a little scary to do so since you risk losing some of that influence. You reach millions (literally, right?) and could actually make a difference just by saying something and reminding people that indifference and silence is privilege.

    I admire you so much. You have earned yourself a lifelong fan.

  104. Emily, I know you are looking to hire new people, and I think you have the potential to be a really good role model here for other white people by hiring some people of color to work for your company! If they aren’t applying, find out why, and try to make it happen. Your company will be better off, and your readers will, too <3

  105. Thank you. It is a relief when people I admire (in the public sphere) step up and stare their solidarity. I am a 2nd generation American/German Jew. My grandparents were lucky enough to escape Nazi Germany. However, my great grandparents and many extended family died in a Nazi death camp. I do not, ever, take for granted the luxury of living in America because we (my family) almost didn’t make it. However, when confronted with this new reality, I am shocked, saddened, and outraged. Thank you for being a beacon – even when you don’t have to.

  106. Emily, thank you SO MUCH for speaking up on the past several days that I’m sure have had most of us in tears, as I knew you would. So glad to see mostly thoughtful, educated comments here. Those of you who feel the need to extricate yourself from white privilege or defend the free speech of white supremacists, WHY THE EFF IS THIS THE PLATFORM YOU CHOOSE? Take a good hard look in the mirror. We think you protest too much.

  107. Thank you for taking a stand, AND being as fair minded as it is possible to be with “OMG How Can Anyone Support This Man” supporters. I am tryiiiiiing, but my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are really pushing my buttons. I knew they voted for Trump, but I thought by now they would have seen “the light.” No. What he said is perfectly o.k. with them. And they do not consider themselves racist. Arrrrgh….I don’t get it.

  108. Thank you, Emily, for sharing. I think one of the first and best things white Americans can do is to speak up, as you just have, and say that they don’t accept this revolting nonsense And to speak up when friends or loved ones speak bias and prejudice. I’m biracial and more liberal than my white family members and I have always been more outspoken than they (they are Midwesterners). Last summer I heard several of them say some shocking things about immigrant children, so-called “anchor babies.” I was floored not only by how misinformed they were, but also by the animosity coming out of their mouths. But they need to hear it not only from people of color like me, as it is too easy to dismiss us. They need to hear “No, that’s wrong and ugly and not OK, and here’s why …” from other white folks, because people of color like me are too easy for them to dismiss. This is why alliances are so important. Slavery would have continued for who knows how long without the efforts of white abolitionists. Men had to vote to pass the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. We, all of us, need to examine our own unconscious biases and fight against them, and then work with together and love one another until we have a society more closely approximating the American dream we’ve heard so much about.

  109. Thank you for stating here how so many of your followers feel!!! To say it is appalling, is an understatement!!! My prayers that those who can speak out, will and that God will help those who are unable to help themselves.

  110. Well done. And thank you. We must have these difficult discussions.

  111. I agree with you, but how to cope with this hatred, all these small fractions are building and growing and trump is empowering them with his silence and blaming groups who oppose them. I don’t know how to love fascists. That seems very idealists in how these people operate.

  112. Thank you for using your platform to post about what’s going on in the world. Makes me love ya even more. ❤️✌🏼

  113. Unfortunately, many rely on laws or social programs to “fix” situations that can’t be fixed through laws or social programs. Emily, I am speaking to you as someone who has been a fan of yours since I first watched Design Star and we had the same shirt from Gap and a love for navy blue. Change comes from within the walls of our homes. We are raising the sick, the angry, the racists, the rapists, the hurting and the broken. Each murdering hate-filled came from a family that either taught them to love or fostered brewing anger towards this, that or the other. Families matter. When we don’t protect families, when we don’t realize the impact we have on future generations, all the government funded programs in the world won’t be able to undo the damage. Our focus needs to be to fix from the inside out, not to simply react to the symptoms.

  114. For the those saying “Not all white people!”…No one is doubting that you are heartbroken and horrified by what happened. However, you still benefit from a society that values you over literally everyone else. Perhaps you or your family tree didn’t actively contribute to the history of injustice that plagues this country, but white people are in positions of power and are, therefore, in the best position to start repairing the damage. Our hope that is your current outrage doesn’t stop at a sad Facebook post.

  115. I am as utterly disgusted by the incidents in Charlottesville as you are. That said, there seems to be a widespread misunderstanding about the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects people’s expression of horrible ideas. And that is a sacred, incredible, I’ll even say beautiful right that must not be taken for granted. There’s that old saying, “I don’t like what you have to say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it.” Seriously, suppression of free (peaceful) speech is not a trivial thing. Those terrible, hateful, racist people in Charlottesville have as much right to speak their mind as anyone else.

    1. Well said, Zoey. There is such a misconception in this country about what “Free Speech” means – it is simply the idea that the government cannot stifle speech. The government. My employer can stifle my speech as much as it wants. Also, some seem to believe that it means “I can say whatever I want with no consequences.” Also NOT TRUE. The only protection is that evil racist bigot are legally allowed to SAY it in the first place.

  116. One more thing – I love your blog and thank you for expressing your ideas on this topic!

  117. THANK YOU Emily for posting this! I was going through my Instagram tonight looking for brands and folks I follow that have posted literally anything about what happened this weekend/happening right now and I’m so disappointed (but not that surprised) to see so few. Thank you for using your voice to amplify what’s right and for God’s sake, condemning white supremacy! Who knew the standard for decency could drop so low. Lots of gratitude for you, thank you again.

  118. Emily.

    Thank you so much for this post. Having to explain to my kids why people hate us because the color of our skin Sunday broke me down.

    It’s always a worry in the back of my mind that people that I support, follow, buy from believes in harmful rhetoric. I know you’re pretty liberal, which I appreciated, but there are many liberals that still have disappointed me with their lack of racial awareness.

    I thank you for being aware that all white people do have a responsibility in this fight against white supremacists/supremacy. They’re not going to listen to us.

    I just want to say it’s both upsetting and hopeful seeing the words surprise and outrage and shock over this weekend. We have been trying to call attention to these issues and they way they manifest, in both large and small ways for many, many years.

    The best thing people can do is unpack white privlege, learn how to do less harm, and listen to PoC. Amplify us. Learn the difference between equity v equality. Inclusion v diversity. Don’t be afraid to say our lives matter. Black lives matter. Our lives depend on it when these folks are calling for ethnic cleansing.




    I’d like to offer my time to you or Brady or anyone on your team looking for further resources or people to follow and learn from.

  119. Emily, I’m always appreciative how you address issues like this on your blog. Even if you feel like you don’t know what to write, you acknowledgement of topics like this is so important – So thank you so much.

  120. I’ll tell ya somethin’: We Hawaiians in Hawaii are NOT AFRAID OF TIKI TORCHES.

  121. Thank you for putting words to this horror Emily. While I don’t believe money solves many things, there are many organizations doing good work to fight injustice who do need money to continue their fight. Southern Poverty Law Center is doing great work/research/advocacy, here is a link to their “Ten Ways to Fight Hate” guide: https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide. They have many related resources and links to valuable organizations. May we remember are better selves and act from those places.

    “I choose love for hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  122. Hi Emily, yourself already doing your part. We need to talk more about it to those we are close. Beautiful article, beautifully written.

  123. I prefer to read about pillows, puffs and babies on your blog rather than social issues. Decorating is my haven away from all the current news and events.

    1. Kim,
      I’m sorry to hear that. I have no idea who you are or what color your skin is, what your religion or sexual orientation is. But if you are white, then you have a privilege that people of color don’t have. You have a privilege to stay silent and only think and read about pillows and poofs. Those without white privilege don’t get to make that choice. Fear of neo nazies and white supremacist is a daily fear. Fear of driving while black is very real.
      So I ask you this one time to care. To care to read something that makes you uncomfortable

  124. Emily, thank you for this post – we can’t stay silent on issues such as this and I truly appreciate you using the platform you have worked so hard for to address this.

    I want to comment on two things – one your line about the south kind of “others” racists and comes off a little bit “#notallwhitepeople” to me. We have to acknowledge that racism & bigotry are a daily reality for POC ALL OVER our nation. My hometown county fair made national news a few years back when they voted to “allow” the Confederate flag and that is in NY! Our legacy of racism and bigotry does not only exist in the south. We need as white people (even those of us who live in liberal states) to make sure that we own our culpability in white supremacy and be honest about how these bigots are often our neighbors, childhood friends, co-workers, and even, unfortunately, family members.

    Also, another way to actively “help” is to listen, follow and amplify POC voices. One of the most insidious tactics of white supremacists is to dismiss, delegitimize and discredit POC voices and groups. Add Black activists and POC groups to your Facebook feed, follow those voices on twitter, and subscibe to diverse podcasts. Seek out voices outside of our medias “white bubble”. And then AMPLIFY those voices. If we as white people start LISTENING more, we will understand more, and we then can be more effectively helpful during these upsetting incidents moving forward.

    Thanks again for addressing this horribleness.

  125. I have heard that this group of people is trying very hard to re-brand themselves as just average men with jobs and a clean cut look. It’s intentional. Let’s not let them normalize this abhorrent thinking and behavior. It’s not NORMAL to hate another person because they don’t look just like you. Period. Treat them as the clowns they are. Give them no respect which is what they crave.

  126. Emily, thank you for this post. I really appreciate you using your platform this way – in a way that, frankly, should not be a controversial opinion in 2017 but apparently still needs to be said out loud. I realized just now that I’m disgusted with all of the lifestyle blogs I read that have remained silent this week. It’s not enough to simply say that you “don’t get into politics” when people’s lives are on the line. This is about basic human decency.

  127. I don’t ever comment on things, And I feel the same way about the utter shock of it all. One thing I have noticed personally In my Midwest town is that many people don’t want to be racist. They don’t wake up in the morning deciding to ostracize People of another color or belief, it happens out of ignorance. In small towns it is much more segregated. People happily live in their bubble and don’t escape the mundaneness of it. They go to all white schools, white churches, live in white neighborhoods. They don’t socialize with African Americans or Muslims. It’s easy to do in a conservative town. And these same people will post on Facebook about how much they hate racism and that they stand against bigotry but they don’t spend any time of their day or existance with people that are different than them.

    This is the problem. Problems arent fixed with our voices. They are only sometimes solved with our voices, if our actions back it up. But when we have privelaged (there i said it) (of which I am myself) white People never escaping their suburban life, there we find where it all starts. It’s a slow fade. These people would never call themselves racist, but in my mind they haven’t spent any time with the refugee, the African American, the outcast, the poor. So they are on the brink of racism and only encouraging all the hateful racists out there even more.

    Action. It’s what people watch. Invite black kids over to your house that don’t have dads, go sign up to help a refugee family that needs things to acclimate in their new home, sign your Kids up for programs that don’t cater to the rich. And so on. In big cities this isn’t a problem, but all over the United States we have conservative suburban cities filled with People and even Christians that talk a good game with very little action to back it up. I see this as one of the biggest issues.

    Thankfully my parents raised me in a diverse neighborhood, and thanks to travel my worldview has expanded.

    Travel, give, invest. And get out of our bubbles.

    From a girl from the Midwest

  128. Thank you Emily. It is interesting to see which lifestyle bloggers have remained silent and which have spoken out.

  129. I agree with what Kim said this morning. An interior design blog is not the place to discuss political hot button issues. I would rather associate your blog as an oasis away from the storm of politics. The comments seem to be coming only from those that feel the same way that you do. I believe that perhaps half of your followers are too intimidated to freely speak their mind.

    1. Eh, you can always skip Emily’s posts that don’t interest you, whether they’re political or about a design style you don’t care for. And…the followers who disagree with…equal rights? I don’t understand that part of your comment.

  130. Did you take down your “Why I Did Not Vote for Trump” post? I wanted to read it but it just takes me to a blank WordPress page.

  131. I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion and believe that discussions like these are critical. One point of distinction that is important—racism is the belief that one group is superior to the other—Nazism is a political ideology that emerged during the 1920s in response to Adolf Hitler’s concept of racial purity and the creation of the Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community) that adhered to a specific white nationalist/white supremacist culture and altered history. Not only did the President not condemn the actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville but he upheld the supreme belief of the Nazi ideology which is to protect white (Aryan) “history and culture.” His statements both in his press conference and through twitter in support of Confederate statues (statues that memorialize the fight for white supremacy) and his support for saving the “history and culture” of these statues and what they stand for (white supremacy) should give all of us pause as to the degree of bigotry and racism that our President holds. This is a conversation about racism but this is also a conversation about how alive and well Nazism has thrived in this country, especially among young men. A good short book on the crises we face and how to combat it is Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny (it takes all of an hour to read… but you will need a glass of wine). Brilliant post.

  132. Thank you Emily for speaking out against this hate. Thank you for using your platform and not being afraid to do so. My black 8 year old son and his sisters thanks you too. I will not step down and I’m done being polite, I will back you with any thing you can do to help bring awareness to whites. For the whites who stay silent are no different than those throwing stones.

  133. I read this post and all of the comments just yesterday. And today I came back and read the comments that have trickled in over the last 24 hours. I skipped several decor posts and came right back to this one. I just can’t stomach talking about anything else at the moment. Thank you, Emily, for acknowledging these horrid events and for starting a dialogue. And thank you to the EHD readers who shared so many incredible resources. I have spent the last 24 hours reading articles that were recommended here. And I have a lot more reading still to do. There is so much to say about it all, but I will just leave it at thank you.

  134. To those suggesting donations to ACLU: you are aware that it was the ACLU that sued on behalf of the Charlottesville white supremacists to allow the protest to take place? The ACLU recognizes and upholds the principle that speech cannot be censored merely because it’s abhorrent. Censorship for “good” reasons can easily lead to oppression. After all, what’s considered “good” at any given time reflects the tyranny of the majority. I don’t believe that censoring, suppressing, or disallowing individual views, no matter how despicable (or personal choices based on those views) is consistent with our country’s founding principles. But we can and need to teach, through civics education, that those personal views cannot justify inflicting harm on others–whether that harm is physical, economic, or socio-political. For me, the solution is education: guiding our children (and ourselves) away from easy answers, knee-jerk responses, and mindless brain candy and toward more nuanced discussions of difficult issues.

  135. Good for you! I respect you even more.

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  137. Thank you for writing this post, Emily. What has been happening the past few weeks is horrifying and so very disheartening. I’m most afraid of how emboldened the Alt-Right are feeling. I tried talking to my mother about what has been happening (as she swings right) and telling her how upset I have been feeling and her solution was to “stop watching the news.” I don’t think that sheltering ourselves from what’s happening is the answer. I think if we become more expressive about our opposition we have the opportunity to have real conversations and enlighten those who may be “numb” or think it doesn’t affect them because what’s happening is thousands of miles away. The truth is, it’s in our backyard, too. I live in California and though I find relief in a community of mostly like-minded individuals, that doesn’t mean we are free from hate groups and intolerance. I hope that not staying quiet will help us all and hope that we can potentially quiet this hateful rhetoric.

  138. I think that a lot of the suggestions are great suggestions, and do some to help the issue, and help you feel good, but do they really change that much? I think that having conversations is great, and standing up for people is great, but how far does it really go to change things. If we want these changes to happen in this generation we have to do more than just talk about it. Knowledge doesn’t change lives, action does, and experience does. I grew up in the south. In Texas, I was bused to a school in a low income area as African American students were bused to my neighborhood school in a predominantly white area. That year is so memorable to me, because it was different and fun as a child to go to a different school. I still make a dessert that I learned as a first grader in that school that was an African dish that I loved. My parents complained about the situation, and I heard their complaints as a kid, but the life experience of going to that school, and the friendships I made sculpted me far more than my parents’ complaints. My family then moved to florida, and I was immersed in a school that had huge cultural divides. We had million dollar neighborhoods just minutes from low income neighborhoods where you would be pulled over for being white because you were, in the police’s minds, either lost or there for no good. I played sports with a diverse group of girls, and had friendships with people of so many different backgrounds that really formed who I was, and how I saw people. I was told I was racist for not wanting to date an African American guy in my class (which was because he was a jerk, not because he was black)- and felt judgement for being white and for my religion, which was a minority in a predominantly baptist area. I saw the grey areas and the racism on both sides, and even in my own family. The people I learned the most from though, preached silent sermons with their lives. So now, I choose to purposefully LIVE with diversity, not just talk about it. I live in a neighborhood that is diverse, and my children have friends of all backgrounds. I take my kids to a preschool that is taught by an amazing African American friend from Central Florida, because she is an amazing teacher and has a common upbringing to me from a diverse area. I have friends that either go to other preschools taught by someone in our church, or have small preschool co-ops with their friends. I make the decision to break from that norm, because I want my kids to have similar experiences as I did. I want them to be raised in a diverse area and come to know themselves that everyone is a child of God, no matter what they look like or where they are from. I make sure I refer her to everyone I know. I’ve had some friends enroll their kids, and then take them out and put them in preschools run by people in our church because it is more “comfortable” for them. I don’t call them out for it. I just continue to do what I can to actually make sure that my children are in a diverse world, so they can see it for themselves. What can you do to actually live what you believe our world should look like? I hear a lot of people talk about white privilege, and how we have this leg up, but I don’t see them taking any action to actually change that situation. I see a lot of people who simply live lives of inclusion, and are changing the next generation now, by raising kids who know what inclusion feels like. Christ set a great example to the pharisees, who loved to preach what the gospel should be, and loved to point out to everyone else where they were wrong. He actually went and spent time with those who were hurting and needed healing, he didn’t just talk about it. I know I can do more than I am doing, and I ask you, can you?

  139. Emily, thank you so much for sharing this. It’s so important. 1000% with you.

  140. I just wanted to say thank you for making your voice heard on this important issue. I’m sure that speaking up was not an easy decision to make (I’m sure lots of people wrote to say they would stop following you because they’re not interested in your “politics”). I’m sure another part of you thought, “Duh, everyone already knows white supremacists are bad”. But I want to tell you that it meant a lot to me that you spoke up. As a person of color and as a child of immigrants, I am one of the people that the nationalists would want to throw out of the country. So this is deeply personal for me. To my point of view, silence is a form of tacit approval and the reason why racism continues to fester to this day. Not enough people are willing to shut down small forms of racism so it snowballs into big forms of racism. It’s exhausting as a person of color to always be the one shutting down microaggressions (and it gets old being told I’m being too sensitive), so I appreciate when others are willing to step forward.
    To the rest of Emily’s readers, I have been heartened to hear your near unanimous support. Thank you!

  141. I adore this post! Thank you for sharing your heart. And, since you wondered how I was feeling (thanks for asking), I’ll tell you. It hurts so bad that I am trying not to go numb.
    To help:
    1. I turn my eyes towards our sweet children. We know that people are not born racist. Parents, family, mentors and friends have a lot of influence over how children view people who don’t look like, speak or worship like them. As parents, it’s about what we say, what we don’t say. It’s about who we hang out with and who we don’t hang out with. If one is characterized as an ethnic majority, diversifying dolls and action figures allows the toys to represent the real ethnically diverse world. Read aloud time becomes a way to introduce new cultures and customs. Real American and world history is taught in my home. My elementary aged children are learning about many things including our country’s racist, past and present in age appropriate ways. If we pretend it doesn’t existing and attempt to “move foreword” and cry, “I’m colorblind”, we rob our children of truth and short circuit their ability to keep it from happening on their watch. When we don’t talk about it, the burning crosses of the the past become the tiki torches of today! Children don’t always become tolerant automatically. It has to be modeled over and over. Love, empathy and tolerance happens one heart at a time.

    2. Like you just did SPEAK UP! The silence must stop. Talk about it. Get some people together and see how your unique gifts and talents can be used to spread love and break down barriers and foster unity.

  142. While I support your absolute right to write what you think, I suggest a remedial civics course for you and your “Amen Corner” on this blog. Also, some history courses, including European history and what “not allowing speech we don’t like” has led to in the 20th Century alone. And no, it’s not brave to write about this because there is absolutely no risk to the writer involved. As a first-generation immigrant to this country from one of those “workers’ paradise” nations leftists think the U.S. should emulate, let me warn you that you are playing with fire when you think that peaceful demonstrators with whom you disagree should not be allowed to speak and should be opposed with bricks and bats and not afforded police protection. Some of you expressed in these very comments that people who think differently should LOSE THEIR JOBS, should be silenced, should be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted. Again, you are playing with fire. The last presidential election should have been an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience for you. Instead, you continue to watch CNN, et al., and call your political opponents the vilest names imaginable while congratulating yourselves on your moral superiority. Still playing with fire. Emotions and virtue-signaling are no substitute for thought and analysis and definitely not a substitute for actions. So, those of you who feel they are disproportionately benefiting from “white privilege” should stop talking and take active steps to “un-privilege” yourselves. Move away from the suburbs, put your kids in inner-city schools where they will be a demographic minority, give up your job to someone non-white and go on welfare, and make your pillow-filled house a “sanctuary house” for illegal immigrants who are NOT nannies for your kids. Do not let your white kid study for the SAT. Somebody with fewer academic credentials but more melanin deserves to go to college instead of him. Oh, you disagree with that? Then you are a racist. In short, stop doing the things that create your “white privilege” — e.g., finishing high school, going to college, not giving birth at 14, getting a job, teaching your kids to be good people and responsible citizens — and you will see how quickly your “privilege” will disappear. You think tearing down the statues of Confederate soldiers achieves one iota of practical good to anybody who considers himself “oppressed”? Beware, as the statues you LIKE may be next. Sadly, the veneer of civilization is very thin. Your words — even though you are patting yourselves on the back for your righteousness — are working to destroy that thin veneer. Look at history and the places where that veneer does not exist and ask yourselves how you would like to live there.

    1. My favorite comment so far.

  143. I am so grateful I came back to read this post and the heart-felt comments and discussions. I just read the ACLU Director’s explanation of why they defend all free (non-violent) speech. And it sounds very wise to my 50 year old white, Catholic-conservative-raised, west-coast-liberal-bubble, privileged mind. Thank you Emily for your whole-hearted, whole enchilada approach to your design blog. And for speaking out and supporting dialog and community. Thank you EHD community for sharing your opinions. Here’s to free speech, dialog, open hearts, and open minds, as a pathway to awareness and growth in our society.

  144. I know it won’t stop people from being racist, but it might slow down both its growth and the pain that events like last weekend created.

  145. Humanity – the human race – we are all in this together. It all begins with devaluing human life, so when an unborn human can be murdered in the womb, why is there surprise when there are murders on our streets.

  146. Thank you Elena. Perfect.

  147. Thank you Elena.

  148. So many brainwashed liberals on this post it’s really stunning. And you want to take away free speech as the answer? Yes, that will solve these problems you’ve already made it dangerous to even express an opinion as a conservative, you’re being played by elites who are inciting fringe groups, they represent 0.00002% of the population, emotional reactivity helps no one and solves nothing, this virtue-signaling nonsense is exactly why Trump was elected as he has nothing to do with this antifa thugs are just as reprehensible as white supremacists, there is a distinction between that and a white nationalist. I’d have to write a book to explain it to you you just parrot the media in an endless hall of mirrors.

    1. Agreed

  149. I guess all young people are too young to remember. This is not new to our society, nor is it gaining motion. These hate groups still hold meetings and have since…..forever? They do not have traction and are not advancing, as much as the media would like them to!

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