response to events in charlottesville, va

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, Elie Wiesel stated, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never ever the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” (Oslo, December 1986).

Saturday, August 12th, was a horrific, tragic day in America. Peaceful protesters were confronted with violence. Heather Heyer lost her life for daring to take sides against racism; two State Troopers died in the line of duty; many were injured. 

The Southeastern Women’s Studies Association is outraged and saddened by the violence committed in Charlottesville. We will honor the memory of the those who lost their lives and will look for ways to demonstrate support for their loved ones as well as those who were injured. Fascism, Nazi salutes and flags, white supremacy, and the hatred of Jewish people, racial minorities, LGBTQ people, and immigrants were blatant in these protests in the name of saving monuments but in the service of hate. SEWSA deplores hatred, bigotry, racism, violence, and terrorism which are incompatible with our mission and the work of our profession. We support inclusion, diversity, multi-culturalism, and social justice and strive to foster safe spaces where emotional and complex issues can be discussed in non-judgmental empathetic environments.

     Together in peace and equality,
     SEWSA Executive Board

 

This statement was approved by the Board on August 24, 2017.