Facing Down Racial Terror

Facing Down Racial Terror

Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht responds to the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – Albert Einstein

This past Saturday, white nationalist groups converged on Charlottesville, Virginia at a rally that ended with the death of a counter-protester at the hands of a white supremacist from Ohio. Watching this unfold, I felt like I could have been in Germany in 1938 or Mississippi in 1960.

Saturday was a horrific and undeniable reminder how close hate is to the surface of American life and how important it is to speak out about it when you see it.

Race in America is a complex thing. We are a country undeniably founded on the genocide of one people and the enslavement of another. Throughout our history, systems were designed that isolate and separate us, and that empower a select few—based on the invention of race. These systems made it so misunderstanding, fear, and ultimately hate, are in our groundwater.

We have yet to eradicate that legacy from our society. The result? Not only senseless deaths like those in Charlottesville but extreme disparities across all major indicators of success and well-being between white people and Americans of color.

This latest horror in our nation’s tarnished history on race must be matched with both words and action. Inaction or equivocation in the face of white supremacy is reckless, and we must commit as individuals, as members and leaders of institutions, and as Americans to ending it now. As an institution, Living Cities is deeply committed to doing that. We’re convinced of the need for affirmative approaches to tackle these issues directly; to living a different set of values, rooted in a vision of racial justice and equity.

Read Nadia Owusu’s piece, Philanthropy: We Need to Talk About Power.

Leaders in government and other sectors must not equivocate on this point: the American Dream belongs to us all, and it’s worth fighting for. As long as white supremacy persists in all its forms, whether overt or covert, institutional or systemic, that dream will remain out of reach.

Thank you,

Ben Hecht
Chief Executive Officer, Living Cities

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Latest Articles

1863 Ventures Seeks to Close the ‘Friends and Family’ Financing Gap for New Majority Entrepreneurs

Melissa Bradley understands how barriers to capital for entrepreneurs of color hurt our economy and our communities. “There is clearly a cost if we do not invest in diversity,” said Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures. “We miss out on great returns when we are not inclusive in our investment theses. There are opportunity costs for all of us.” She cites …

A Vision for Systemic Change in the Twin Cities: An Interview with Marcus Pope

JK:We’re celebrating your new role as President of Youthprise! Can you tell us a bit about Youthprise? MP: I’ll start by sharing Youthprise’s mission, which is to increase equity with and for Minnesota’s Indigenous, low income, and racially diverse youth. We take the “with and for” very seriously; half of our board members are young people between the ages of …

The Legacy of Wealth Inequities in the Brown and Flynn Families: A Hypothetical Exploration

The first post in a two-part series explores the potential of capital to undo the historical legacy of inequities. Race is a complex issue that continues to drive many of the socioeconomic outcomes in the US. For example, if you are a person of color born in the United States, your zip code is more of a predictor of your …

Living Cities Selected to the ImpactAssets 50 for 11th Year in a Row

Living Cities’ Capital for the New Majority team is thrilled to announce that Living Cities and the Catalyst Family of Funds have been selected to the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) for the eleventh consecutive year and named as an Emeritus Impact Manager for the second time. “Now in its eleventh year, the ImpactAssets 50™ is the most recognized free database of …

Get Updates

We want to stay in touch with you! Sign up for our email list to receive updates on the progress we’re making with our network of partners, as well as helpful resources and blog posts.

Name