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.
To help understand what happened:
What Is the “Alt-Right”?
Trumpvangelicals Are Using Faith to Bring Us to the Brink of Nuclear War
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, ThinkProgress
One Nation, Under Siege: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Lives Security State
Kay Whitlock, Beacon Broadside
Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy
The “Free-Speech” Hypocrisy of Right-Wing Media
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New York Times
CTRL-Alt-Delete: The Origins and Ideology of the Alternative Right
Political Research Associates
Contemporary Antisemitism and Youth
Charlottesville: Race and Terror
VICE News Tonight on HBO
Trump, Bullying, and the Legacy of White Supremacist Terror: Let’s Call It What It Really Is
David Stovall, Beacon Broadside
There Is No Post-Racial America
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic
These Are Donald Trump’s Racist Troops
Brian Beutler, The New Republic
To help understand the historical and societal scope of hate in America:
The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy
American Horror Story: 5 Myths about Hate and Violence in America
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski, Beacon Broadside
Holocaust and Human Behavior
Why It Matters When a Town Rallies Against Hate
Linda K. Wertheimer, The Boston Globe
White Supremacy, the Hate Frame, and Disruptive Imagination
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski, Beacon Broadside
The History White People Need to Learn
Mary-Alice Daniel, Salon
#CharlottesvilleCurriculum, #CharlottesvilleSyllabus, UC Press Edition
University of California Press Blog
To propose solutions and individual actions:
Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Alt-Right Curriculum
Linda K. Wertheimer, The Atlantic
A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy
Gabriel Kristal, In These Times
Fourteen Steps Forward Together for America’s Third Reconstruction
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Beacon Broadside
Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology
Edited by Jason Marsh, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Jeremy Adam Smith
This collection of essays offers a straightforward overview of the new science of prejudice, and showcases the abundant practical, research-based steps that can be taken in all areas of our lives to overcome prejudice.
Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski
Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski examine hate and common forms of individual and group violence are excused and normalized in popular culture and political discussion. They challenge readers to radically reimagine the meaning and structure of justice within a new framework of community wholeness, collective responsibility, and civic goodness.
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War
Artemis Joukowsky, with a foreword by Ken Burns
This official companion to the Ken Burns PBS film tells the little-known story of the Sharps, an otherwise ordinary couple whose faith and commitment to social justice inspired them to undertake dangerous rescue and relief missions across war-torn Europe, saving the lives of countless refugees, political dissidents, and Jews on the eve of World War II.
Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance
Linda K. Wertheimer
In her intimate cross-county look at the debate over religion in the public school system, veteran education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer offers a promising roadmap for raising a generation of religiously literate Americans.
Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of a Slave and a Son of a Slave Trade
Thomas Norman DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan
Thomas Norman DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan confront the legacy of slavery and racism head-on in their three-year travels to visit plantations, antebellum mansions, cemeteries, and other historic sites.
A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings
Martin Luther King, Jr., with forewords by Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warmock
This classic collection of sixteen sermons preached and compiled by Dr. King presents his fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promotes his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.
Sheryll Cashin offers both a history of white supremacy and a hopeful treatise on the future of race relations in America, challenging the notion that trickle-down progressive politics is our only hope for a more inclusive society.
Sherrilyn A. Ifill investigates the numerous ways that racial trauma still resounds across the United States and provides an urgent road map for communities with histories of racial violence to move toward reconciliation and reparation efforts.
The Radical King
Martin Luther King, Jr., edited and introduced by Cornel West
This revealing collection of twenty-three selections, which includes his sermon “Where Do We Go from Here,” restores Dr. King as being every bit as radical as Malcolm X by illustrating his revolutionary vision.
The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Modern-day civil rights champion Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America’s racial divide.
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Martin Luther King, Jr., with a foreword by Coretta Scott King and an introduction by Vincent Harding
In his very last book written after a decade of civil rights struggles, Dr. King demands an end to global suffering, asserting that humankind has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.
Why We Can’t Wait
Martin Luther King, Jr., with an introduction by Dorothy Cotton
Dr. King’s vivid account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963 examines the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. This book contains the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.