Charlottesville Is In A State of Emergency. Here's Where (and How) Teens Step In.

Writing this article feels tricky. On one hand, it feels necessary to share the pictures of those Nazis and White Supremacists. Plaster their faces everywhere on the web so they're held accountable for their repulsive hate. Make sure no one can deny what they're chanting, what they're trying to spread. On the other, it sometimes feels like we could be giving them a platform if we share their words and signs. Is it better to withhold the slogans so they don't get attention? Or better to spam the pages with humor and opposition and anger so they can't get credibility? As a group of teen journalists, we're working to try to find the right way to cover this news, to firmly disempower terrorism while simultaneously educating our readers and hopefully, ultimately, giving them some way to resist.

So let's start here. This disgusting march was an act of terrorism, period. We advise you look to other (factual, reputable) articles to see the racism and anti-Semitism that is trying to rise to dominance. We encourage you to keep the fact that they were inspired by the current United States administration present in your mind. And remind you that angry grief is normal and we all feel just as hopeless and confused as you probably do, which makes this so frustrating. We've compiled a guide for some ways to empower yourself and give the biggest Fuck You ever to the Unite The Right.

 

  1. Consider the best way to counter protest.
    If you're in Virgina: Friday night, torches and pepper spray were yielded by supremacists. Some counter protestors held signs in the air to encourage a unified front, while others tried burning down the flags brandishing swastikas. We can't tell you the right way to protest, but we encourage you to carefully consider your plan. Study your rights. Create a plan that accounts for the tension in the air and how you'll be safe.  
    If you're not in Virginia: this post will be updated as we search for various protests to attend countrywide.
  2. Support the local organizations
    Virginian nonprofits will be working in the thick of this swarm of supremacists to provide aid to their targets. Funds can stretch thin, so if you're in a financial position that allows you to, it's always beneficial to help support the counter movement. 
    Sarah Benincasa compiled a thorough list of organizations that can use donations. 
  3. As Always, Call, Call, Call!
    Sometimes it can feel so meager to call representatives, but Daily Action's posts (and mission as a whole) stand to prove that flooding government official's inboxes with pressure to condemn these sorts of events, and create legislation to promote educational and political reform to grind supremacy to a final halt, can actually be effective. 
    5Calls offers a convenient script.  
  4. Remember: THIS IS NOT NORMAL. 
    After the past two hundred days or so, it's hard to keep your anger fresh. So many tragedies and so many messy situations are being hurled at us that it's sometimes difficult to mobilize again, and again, and again, and again. We have new instruments at our disposal that no other generation has been able to use; we have the internet and our own mini platforms. Let's continue using them and remind each other that this type of demonstration has been present far too long in our country's history. Let's continue to stomp out these KKK members and Nazis with our words, our protests, and our schemes. 

This is only our first step. As always, we are here as a platform to teens who want to speak out.  

BANNER IMAGE VIA TWITTER/SOPHIA ARMEN