In the aftermath of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, many of our Facebook and Twitter feeds were inundated with posts that ranged from fury to despair to heartache. But as Senator Kamala Harris expressed on Facebook today, we all need to actively prove that we truly aren't a nation defined by hate and bigotry.
"To some Americans, this was shocking and scary. They asked themselves how could this happen — in the United States of America — in 2017?" the California senator wrote. "To other Americans, what they know is, Charlottesville exemplifies an undeniable reality that lurks just beneath the surface in this nation we love."
After addressing the incredibly problematic "many sides" comment made by Trump, Harris turned her attention to the importance of playing a role in proving that we aren't, as we say, a country that can be summed up by the horrific images that have emerged from Charlottesville.
"Imagine how [the white supremacists] would feel if they were told they could not come into America because of their religion. Or that they could not serve in our military because of their gender identity. Or that their polling place was shut down as a part of a systematic effort to stop them from voting. Or could be separated without warning from their family or the country they call home. Or that they could lose their job because of who they love," Harris wrote. "These are things happening right now in our country, too. And if we care about what happened yesterday in Charlottesville, we’ve got to care about everyday discrimination as well."
"If we say this is not who we are, it’s on us to show that," she continued.
"There is hope to be found. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans are good, fair and just and they want their country to reflect those ideals. And the fact that yesterday’s explicit hate was met with near-universal condemnation affirms my belief in our capacity to overcome evil," Harris concluded. "We don’t have to let extremists define us. Opportunities to do right are right in front of us. We just have to seize them."