The World Community for Racial Justice
Black Lives Matter did not do this
United We Stand: Countering Hate-Fueled Violence Together
By Domestic Policy Advisor Susan E. Rice
Hate must have no safe harbor in America—especially when that hate fuels the kind of violence we’ve seen from Oak Creek to Pittsburgh, from El Paso to Poway, and from Atlanta to Buffalo. When we cannot settle our differences of opinion peacefully, and when ordinary Americans cannot participate in the basic activities of everyday life—like shopping at the grocery store, praying at their house of worship, or casting a ballot—without the fear of being targeted and killed for who they are, our democracy is at risk.
That’s why, on Thursday, September 15, President Biden will host the United We Stand Summit at the White House to counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety, highlight the response of the Biden-Harris Administration and communities nationwide to these dangers, and put forward a shared, bipartisan vision for a more united America.
President Biden decided to run for president after the horrific violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Since taking office, his Administration has consistently taken steps to counter hate-motivated violence—from signing the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, to releasing the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, to signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant legislation in three decades to reduce gun violence
Even as our nation has endured a disturbing series of hate-fueled attacks, Americans of all beliefs and political affiliations remain overwhelmingly united in their opposition to such violence. The United We Stand Summit will bring together heroes from across America leading work in their communities to build bridges and address hate and division, including survivors of hate-fueled violence. The summit will include bipartisan federal, state, and local officials, civil rights groups, faith and community leaders, technology and business leaders, law enforcement officials, former members of violent extremist groups who now work to prevent violence, gun violence prevention leaders, media representatives, and cultural figures. It will feature a keynote speech from President Biden as well as bipartisan panels and conversations on countering hate-fueled violence, preventing radicalization and mobilization to violence, and fostering unity.
And, we hope it will also include you. Communities across the country will be invited to watch the summit live and engage in a national conversation about standing together against hate-fueled violence.
Nominate a “Uniter” in your community
Across America, Americans are working to bring their communities together across lines of racial, religious, political and other differences to prevent acts of hate-fueled violence, promote healing where such violence has had devastating consequences, and foster unity. These “Uniters” are bipartisan faith leaders and teachers, police officers and mayors, civic leaders and volunteers, and everyday members of our communities. Many of these Uniters are themselves survivors of hate-fueled violence who have turned their pain into purpose. They hold together our communities together and lift us up in the hardest times.
By September 1st, 2022, we invite you to nominate an extraordinary Uniter in your community to be recognized by the White House. Please email UnitedWeStand@who.eop.gov with information on a leader in your community who inspires change by building bridges and countering hate-fueled violence..
As President Biden said in Buffalo after the horrific mass shooting earlier this year, in the battle for the soul of our nation “we must all enlist in this great cause of America.” The United We Stand Summit will present an important opportunity for Americans of all walks of life to take up that cause—together.
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A Lynching Map of the United States, 1900-1931
A Lynching Map of the United States, 1900-1931
This map, compiled using data gathered by the Tuskegee Institute, represents the geographic distribution of lynchings during some of the years when the crime was most widespread in the United States. Tuskegee began keeping lynching records under the direction of Booker T. Washington, who was the institute’s founding leader.
In 1959, Tuskegee defined its parameters for pronouncing a murder a “lynching”: “There must be legal evidence that a person was killed. That person must have met death illegally. A group of three or more persons must have participated in the killing. The group must have acted under the pretext of service to justice, race or tradition.”
In 1900-1931, Georgia led the lynching tally, with Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas rounding out the top seven worst offenders.
These numbers can seem antiseptic. Upon the release of the Tuskegee Report in 1916, the Cleveland Plain Dealer sought to put a face to the statistics by describing the relatively minor crimes that provoked some of the year’s lynchings (while noting that at least four of the people killed were later proved innocent):
One was charged with being accessory to burning a barn. One was accused to [sic] stealing cotton. A family of four, including two daughters, was slaughtered for clubbing an officer. Three were lynched for poisoning mules, and two for stealing hogs. Two were strung up for furnishing ammunition to a man who was resisting arrest.
Tuskegee compiled statistics on lynchings through 1961. This print of the map is held at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University; another copy is collected at the Library of Congress.
Thanks to Andrew Salinas of the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University
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