WASHINGTON — Southern Poverty Law Center President and CEO Margaret Huang issued the following statement on the fourth anniversary of the white supremacist rally/riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Looking back at Charlottesville, especially after the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol to overturn the election results, it is now clear that the event was the violent beginning of a new chapter in the attempt to bring white nationalist ideas into the mainstream. Organizers of the Unite the Right rally sought to normalize these white nationalist ideals and sadly have, in many ways, been successful.
“Over the past four years, anti-democratic and extremist ideas have increasingly infected the mainstream and white supremacists are more emboldened and vocal about their intentions for their antidemocratic vision for the future of our nation. We saw this play out most starkly on January 6th but see it every day as extremist elected officials and people in power continue to spread everything from the ‘Big Lie’ conspiracy to the great replacement theory.
“It is more important now than ever that we do everything we can to reject hate and extremism, to refuse racism and white supremacy, and to begin to heal the nation’s deep wounds by holding anti-democratic elected officials accountable and acknowledging our history of slavery and oppression. While great strides have been made by those working to counter white supremacy in their communities and nationally, much work lies ahead to ensure the deadly hatred experienced in Charlottesville never happens again and is relegated to the shameful fringes where it belongs.”