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PCAR Statement on Charlottesville and Call for Leadership

AUGUST 17, 2017 - The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) joins our state and national partners in denouncing the white supremacist hate rally that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. We stand committed to social justice and know sexual violence can only end through dismantling racism in all forms. 

We applaud the courageous activists and allies who showed up to protest this hatred and racism. An entire community has been attacked. We are keeping all of those who died, their loved ones, the first responders, those that were injured or traumatized, and all of Charlottesville in our hearts as they seek to recover. We are committed to continue to do our work to help change the culture in which we live to one where every person is treated with respect.

We believe this rally and demonstration of white supremacy are a targeted backlash against communities of color and racial justice. We recognize the display of hatred and bigotry which occurred in Charlottesville is not an isolated act. Rather, this display of hatred is driven by values and rhetoric of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and xenophobia that have long-existed throughout the U.S. Racism is a constant current we must actively fight against, in the work that we do and in our personal lives. 

Not only must we oppose racism in all forms, but we must also recognize its impact on communities of color, who have faced and continue to face disproportionate rates of sexual violence and innumerable daily injustices. This statement is one we write both to ourselves as an organization and to others working in the anti-sexual violence and racial justice movements. We know white people in the anti-sexual violence movement have a lot of work to do as aspiring allies for people of color. We need to show up for people of color.  

As an organization committed to survivors of sexual violence and the advocates and organizations working to address and prevent sexual violence, we rise to the occasion and echo the call to action of our partners at the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence:

We believe that white supremacists are emboldened by their apologists in the highest levels of our government and that leadership matters. We call on President Trump to cease equating counter-protesters with white supremacists and to divest his administration of any people who have expressed white supremacist views. We additionally call on Congress and governors to take leadership and condemn white supremacy. We call on all white people to strongly engage in ongoing anti-racist efforts, have difficult and necessary conversations, acknowledge white supremacist culture, and speak up.

Please find several resources below from partners and action steps you can take. Please contact us if we can assist in connecting you to additional statements and opportunities to take action.