Many of the white supremacists arrived brandishing flags and symbols of the Confederacy and Nazi Germany, openly bearing weapons, and shouting racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic chants. That day, one of the marchers allegedly drove his car into a large crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather D. Heyer, and injuring many others. That same day, two state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the events unfolding.
In response, people across the country repudiated the white supremacists and their messages of hate, and the hashtag #ThisIsNotUs began trending.
Unfortunately, it is us.
People of color, religious and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities have not yet achieved full equality in the United States. And, every time that people of color achieve significant progress towards equality, it's met with an inevitable backlash and period of retrenchment.
Make no mistake: we are at a critical point in our democracy and history as a nation, and staying on the sidelines is not an option.