White supremacists are once again on the march, trying to exploit the anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville to regroup their racist movement. This past weekend right-wing neo-Nazis marched in Portland, Oregon, and Berkeley spewing hate and encouraging violence. On August 12, far-right demonstrators plan to congregate in Washington, D.C., for a despicable “White Civil Rights Rally,” put together by one of the main organizers of the racist demonstrations in Charlottesville.
But just like last year, the emboldened right-wing is only part of the story. From Portland to D.C., thousands are mobilizing counter-protests and standing up to racism and bigotry. In D.C. the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) successfully prevented a plan to provide separate trains for white supremacists by refusing to operate them. ATU Local 698 released a statement noting that,
More than 80 percent of Local 689’s membership is people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed, and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation.
From the streets to the classroom, the resurgence of far-right racism unleashed by Trump’s election must be confronted. To help teachers in this endeavor, the Zinn Education Project will continue to post new lessons throughout the year on the impact of racism and popular movements to combat it.
For now, we re-post a column written by Zinn Education Project Organizer Adam Sanchez last year in response to the violence in Charlottesville. As teachers return to the classroom this fall, we need to redouble our efforts to teach the history of racism and the struggles against it. As Local 689’s statement makes clear, knowing this history helps us take informed action today.