Erika L. Sanders, director of program services for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, decries the recent events in Charlottesville, where a white supremacists march spurred the death of three people.
Like so many, we at the Fair Housing Council watched recent events in Charlottesville unfold with a sense of horror and deep sorrow. We mourn for the three lives lost and send healing wishes to the individuals who were injured. Unfortunately, the racism we saw in Charlottesville, and in the responses to it, are part of the fabric of American life, and have been for a long, long time.
We know that hate takes many forms, from subtle to overt, and although it’s painful to acknowledge, we also know that no community is exempt from it. Wisconsin is home to at least nine active hate groups, and we’ve seen increasing hate-motivated incidents on our State’s college and university campuses, against religious communities, and at people’s homes.
We’re taking guidance from James Baldwin’s words: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
With this in mind, this June the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council began to have structured community conversations about how hate is at work in our communities, and how we can take steps to ensure that all of our neighbors’ rights are protected. We need to learn from one another, strategize together, and take action together.
The Fair Housing Council stands in solidarity with all of our partners and neighbors working to build inclusive communities, where diversity is understood to be our strength. 2017 may well be a turning point in our nation’s story — together, we can ensure that we turn toward justice, toward equality, toward unity.
The Fair Housing Council is a private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote fair housing throughout the State of Wisconsin by combating illegal housing discrimination and by creating and maintaining racially and economically integrated housing patterns.