For What?

A Message to White Supremacists

You are powered by hate. We are fueled by love.

White supremacists riot in Charlottesville.


You cannot win. You may think you’re resilient but you know nothing of the resilience of people whose ancestors survived slavery, Jim Crow, and centuries of American terrorism far worse than the sort you brought to Charlottesville last weekend. We went through all of that and still we rise each day without hate but with a deep hunger for justice.

You are playing a game and spewing anger and exposing your longing for the power you think should be inherently invested in whiteness. But we are not afraid. We are afraid of nothing except of stopping the fight for complete and total justice. You may have this president on your side, but we have so much more than that.

You can attempt your rallies, you can try to be more than keyboard gangsters, you can try to stop the removal of statues that commemorate historic losers, you can get violent because you cannot win the argument with ideas—you can do all of that but you will continue to lose because the fuel powering us is fundamentally different than yours.

You are powered by hate. You want separation, repression, dominance. We want inclusion, opportunity, and liberty for all because we are fueled by love. I’m not talking about romantic love, I’m talking about a revolutionary’s love of community, the sort of familial love for your people—your virtual brothers and sisters and your children—that pushes you to do things you never could if you see yourself as alone. We stand up to you because we love our community, we love our ancestors who suffered so much, we love our children who deserve so much more.

You’re filled with a bizarre sense of victimhood. You’re grizzled with anger, hate and fear. I know you’re trying to put fear in us but like so many I was raised to never fear the Klan.

What I cannot understand is what you actually want. Your “movement” is chaotic. What are your political needs? A white-only separatist state as part of reclaiming a fictional past that never existed? Your movement is intellectually infantile. You're making a primal scream but for what?

What we want is clear. Stop killing us. Let us live in justice. End the War on Drugs. Focus more on educating and less on criminalizing, more on helping us grow and less on keeping us down. These are real ideas that will produce true justice.

So while you are trying to pull American society apart, we will continue trying to build it into what it promised us it would be—a place of liberty and justice for all.

Meanwhile you will never be normal, you will never be respectable, you will always be the freaks at the circus. We will continue to be the ones pushing the moral arc of history to bend in the right direction.

Your dreams of racial segregation are hostile to the idea of America. We are the true patriots demanding a shining city on a hill.

We know you fear the demographic changes that are underway and the cultural changes that are underway and that sharing your world with people who aren’t white and Christian and straight may seem scary, but the truth is only one of our movements is fighting for the true American way. We are the ones who are truly fighting to make America great so it’s our duty to stand up for ourselves and be intolerant of your intolerance. It’s our duty to attack the malignant cancer that you embody.

You are the child of disgraced armies that fought to defend evil. You are the child of two lost wars. You are the progeny of losers. We are the children of freedom fighters who fought against long odds and won. And this, too, is a battle we will win.