It’s been a distressing week to watch for anyone who believes in a free, tolerant and safe society. These horrific attacks, in Charlottesville and yesterday in Barcelona, were carried out by people with hateful ideas hoping to dominate and intimidate people simply for living their lives.
The attacks in Charlottesville prove that the kind of violent racism that the world came together 70 years ago to defeat is something never to be complacent about. If you let it go unchecked it will return, and that is why Donald Trump is wrong – there is no equivalence between those out to harm civilisation and those protesting to defend it.
There are already too many people in the world who want to sow fear and division between people and communities. But if you look at the people rushing to the scene of attacks to help, you’ll see how many more of us there are than them, and how much more support there is than indifference or hatred.
This is a time for mourning and reflection, but also a time to strengthen our resolve. Think about how many people you know who’ve been outraged at what’s happened – think about how you can make them aware of what to look out for, and how they can stand up against violent beliefs taking hold in others.
And we are right to call it out wherever we see it, whether from the President of the United States or in the hateful rhetoric from the Sun newspaper here in the UK. But today and in the days to come we must stand with the communities who are victims of these hateful ideologies as well as those these terrible people seek to misrepresent.