Letter from the Publisher: Thoughts on Charlottesville

Posted by – August 22, 2017
Categories: Society & Politics

Dear friends,

As the publisher of an organization committed to healing and global transformation, I am deeply saddened by the recent events in Charlottesville and the resurgence of racism we are seeing in our country. White supremacy is neither new nor periphery to the American story; it’s in fact an ideology core to our nation’s founding. And here it is, walking down main street, and I’m shocked at the rationalizations giving it cover.

But I am also heartened to see that as the prejudice that has haunted many of our citizens for generations is now more fully exposed, a potent intersectional movement is coalescing that will hold a moral center and in the end relegate hate to the marginal place in history it deserves. Hate has always been a hallmark of the human experiment, and when incarnated it does deep, lasting harm. But ultimately, views based on separation and fear are self-limiting, for they miss the key regenerative element of love. It is so easy to forget this when hatred shakes its angry fist.

The murder of Heather Heyer was committed by an individual, but it was fueled by an endemic system of inequality and racism that in the end harms everyone, including those seemingly blind to it. It is disheartening to behold so many white Americans seeking empowerment through supremacy while in reality many of them are exploited by a financial structure that largely benefits a tiny elite; their true potential allies are actually the fellow citizens on the margins of power, many of whom are the people of color they fear and deride. Underneath their aggressive stances, many of these white Americans in truth seem deeply afraid, and yet they scapegoat and blame the very people with whom they could find solidarity.

But the response to hate is alive, contagious, and electric, as evidenced by the thousands of people gathering in Charlottesville, Boston, New Orleans, and Dallas over recent weeks. The movement is building as I write this, in church basements, on city sidewalks, on conference calls, and in families’ living rooms. As author Reverend angel Kyodo williams puts it in her book Radical Dharma, “This is the back-of-the-bus moment of our time.” ​Through grit and sweat, candor and courage, regular people are building the bridges necessary to usher our country, and indeed our species, into the embodiment of love and interconnection that is in fact our greatest promise and our truest birthright.

Sincerely,
 

Tim McKee

Tim McKee
Publisher

Tags: Letter from the Publisher Tim McKee

About the Author

Tim came to NAB in 2013 and is honored to serve as publisher. Born in New York City, McKee grew up in Los Angeles and received a BA from Princeton University and an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri. He has worked in the nonprofit sector for his entire career, including serving as the long-time managing editor of The Sun magazine, the grants director for a social-justice foundation in San Francisco, and as a writer for several community-based organizations in California. He has also taught college-level writing and journalism. His book No More Strangers Now: Young Voices from a New South Africa (Dorling Kindersley) was an Honor Book for the Jane Addams Book Award and a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He is happiest when bringing necessary stories to the page.