Response to the tragedy in Charlottesville

8/14/2017 | The tragedy that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, serves as a stark reminder of the danger of white supremacist ideology, and the work that still lies ahead in fostering inclusive communities that value the strengths of diversity and equity.

Whether white supremacist or neo-Nazi, these similar ideologies attempt to provide false justification for inhumane acts. We’ve seen it used in our nation as the justification for slavery, the persecution of indigenous peoples, the internment of the Japanese, the Jim Crow laws and the denial of rights for women and the LGBTQ community. It’s been used to vilify immigrants, and create fear of anyone it deems ‘foreign.’ Under the protection of the First Amendment, these groups seek to subvert the Constitution and the protections of all of us by trying to divide us against each other.

So what do we do? That’s a question we need to answer personally, and as a community. For each of us this is an opportunity to reiterate our own commitment to the values of equity and pluralism.

As we move forward, we should keep in mind the families who lost loved ones that day, and to all those who were injured while protesting peacefully. While we strive for a safer learning and working environment, it is also our responsibility to report concerns. Should you hear or see something at Bellevue College, please let your concern be known.

If you’re struggling with the emotional impact of this tragedy, please reach out to our Counseling Center, which can be reached at (425) 564-5747.

In these times, we can also look for inspiration in the words of the leaders who have faced these challenges with courage, and embody their legacy of hope. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Last Updated August 14, 2017