We Stand with Charlottesville

Most people I speak to today tell me that peace is not possible. But they believe peace is impossible because we live in a country that was built on violence and continues to embrace it.

We live in a country that was founded on genocide and slavery, promotes imperialism, celebrates militarism, and that continues to justify the possession of nuclear weapons.

We live in a country where both major political parties put responsibility on the Muslim community to denounce terrorism, while ignoring the fact that the biggest perpetrators of domestic terrorism are white men.

I speak now to white people, like me, who have seen Black Lives Matter protesters be threatened online for months. Whose silence enabled this violence in Charlottesville?

As peace activists, we must say, not just at rallies when the world is watching, but in our homes and always: Black Lives Matter.

Any silence in the face of hate enables violence and irrational fear, because we know that hate speech is violence, and it is a tool of this Administration. With hate speech, this Administration has unleashed violence against immigrant, indigenous, Muslim and Black communities at home, and may kill innocent North Korean people with nothing to do with war, who have suffered the most under their regime.

But the violence of this government does not define us because we will not let it silence or divide us.

We cannot rest until we recognize that every human being in the world has the right to live without a constant threat of violence, and that there is no U.S. global leadership when our actions at home and abroad erode this most fundamental human right.

Because, though our Administration now chooses war and violence, we can make another choice. As peace activists, we choose radical, revolutionary love. We choose diplomacy. We choose diversity. We choose to say Black Lives Matter.

We must be the rational actors of truth with empathy for those most impacted by our wars at home and abroad. We must not be the victims of fear falsely promoted by our Government.

We are peace activists because peace is not just the absence of war. It is the active rejection of violence against marginalized communities by the few who have too much power, abuse it, and have left wounds all over the world.

And the violence that threatens all of us is not far from us: It is here. It is in the White House.

You can count on me to never believe in anything but the power of the just. Of those who stand against evil where it exists. Of those who stand against prejudice, hate, and fear. Of those who stand for love.

And I count on you to join me.