Beacon Press: A Charlottesville Syllabus For Our Uncertain Times

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a frightening and disheartening reminder of how hate and intolerance in the US resurface when bigots feel empowered to act on their prejudice. Cornel West described the rally that took place on August 12 as “the biggest gathering of a hate-driven right wing in the history of this country in the last thirty to thirty-five years.” Watching the violence unfold left us feeling sorrowful and horrified.

We at Beacon Press believe in promoting anti-racism, religious pluralism, and respect for diversity in all areas of life. We work to lift up the voices that speak to urgent social issues. In today’s politically fraught climate, we find ourselves face-to-face with these issues, which is why Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II has rightfully declared that, “now is the time for a Third Reconstruction. We who believe in freedom insist that we are going forward together, not one step back.”

The level of hate seen at the rallies in Charlottesville has a history and a context that need to be understood. As president of the Unitarian Universalist Association Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray said at the peaceful counter-protests in Charlottesville, “White supremacy is not new in this country, but its renewed boldness is.” To that end, discussions about it need to continue in order for us to work toward inclusiveness and social justice. That’s why we’ve put together a list of resources for your perusal.

This list includes resources from the Anti-Defamation League, Teaching Tolerance, Political Research Associates, Facing History, and our own authors and staff; it’s by no means exhaustive. We’ll keep adding to it to empower a reimagining of justice and the societal transformation necessary to dismantle white supremacy and structural violence.

We hope you find these helpful in our uncertain times.

Access the syllabus on the Beacon Press website.