Nashville councilmembers speak out against hateful ideologies

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Members of the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County have taken a public stand against bigotry, racism and hate in light of last week's riot and deaths that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"We are outraged at and alarmed by the increasing prominence of hateful ideologies that led to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia" the statement begins, before acknowledging the deaths of Heather Heyer and Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

The councilmembers' unified statement (below) is notable for its inclusivity, especially as it regards LGBT people:

Anonymous internet chatter has become an open call to disparage and eliminate anyone who is perceived as ‘different’, whether due to race, religion, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation and/or national origin.

They urge all citizens to join them in refusing to allow propaganda of hatred to go unchecked. "It is the responsibility of all citizens to speak up and say no to racism, bigotry and hatred. No, we will not let your hateful ideologies tarnish our great city and wonderful country."

Read the full statement here…

We are outraged at and alarmed by the increasing prominence of hateful ideologies that led to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia the weekend of August 12. Heather Heyer died because she rose to speak out on behalf of those being maligned and targeted. Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates died while working to protect the public peace in Charlottesville. Countless others were injured at the hands of violent extremists. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families of Ms. Heyer, Lt Cullen and Trooper Berke. To the community of Charlottesville, we offer our resolve to help find ways to change the direction of our country’s conversation, from divisive, disruptive and inflammatory rhetoric — even to the point of murder — to a more peaceful exchange of ideas to solve problems.

While what we saw in Charlottesville was an intense manifestation of a truly heinous movement, it is sadly not an isolated incident. Increasingly, white supremacists, whether referred to as Nazis, the KKK, or white nationalists, have become emboldened in their efforts to spread their propaganda of hatred, racism and bigotry. Anonymous internet chatter has become an open call to disparage and eliminate anyone who is perceived as ‘different’, whether due to race, religion, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation and/or national origin.

This is absolutely unacceptable in a civil society, and we in Nashville won’t stand for it. Let us be clear: our neighbors are under threat, and silence is no longer an option. When people in our cities are being attacked in word and deed, deference is ill-advised and short-sighted. The Council continues to study and enact legislation that is borne of this conviction. It is the responsibility of all citizens to speak up and say no to racism, bigotry and hatred. No, we will not let your hateful ideologies tarnish our great city and wonderful country. Hate has no place in the friendly and diverse melting pot that Nashville and America are.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And, by definition, it’s simply un-American to suggest otherwise.

 

 

 

Graphic from Charlottesville via BBC