Charlottesville Response


In light of the events of the past week and what we are anticipating this weekend here in Boston, I wanted to reaffirm that we as CCFC continue to stand against racism, provide information about a counter-protest that is being organized in Boston this Saturday, and provide articles and readings that may help you understand what happened around Charlottesville and subsequent disturbing events. The following email contains the following:

  • A joint statement released by Boston Clergy
  • Information about a prayer meeting at CCFC at 8:30 am this Saturday, August 19 to pray for our city and for peace and justice, especially in light of the upcoming protest and counter-protest
  • Information about the counter-protest and other events (forwarded to me by GBIO (the greater boston interfaith organization)
  • A "Charlottesville Syllabus" that was forwarded by Brian Corr, Executive Director of the Cambridge Peace Commission (that I chair and Regina Yang [UMC leader] sits on).

During these times, we also want to encourage you to reach out to our church staff if you would like additional support.

Blessings everyone.
May God give us all grace and peace during these times...

Pastor Larry

A JOINT STATEMENT FROM BOSTON AREA RELIGIOUS LEADERS: On the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia

Would that the troubles visited upon Charlottesville were unique. Alas, they are not.

White bigots, some proudly wearing Nazi regalia, shouting racist invectives and egging for a fight, engaged in brutish scuffles, fear-mongering, and even murder in broad day light…

These, alas, are “unoriginal” sins, with language and symbolism drawn from one of the darkest, most ghastly moments in human history.

Adding to the pain of this horrific event is the failure of some of our political and religious leaders, including President Trump, to call out this behavior instantly, unequivocally—to decry it with instinctive, full-throated condemnation. There should not be any hesitation in naming and denouncing these vicious acts of pure, unadulterated racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.

As religious leaders, we are outraged by the disgusting behavior of the hate mongers in Charlottesville and the immoral responses of so-called public servants and spiritual guides. We are heartbroken at the tragic loss of life in Charlottesville. May the murder of Heather Heyer and the deaths of state troopers Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates call us to recommit ourselves to the hard work to which the US Constitution calls us as human beings, created by God, equal and beautifully diverse.

We take some heart, however, that precisely because the sins in Charlottesville are not new, we have the will and the resources to respond to them, if we heed the lessons of history and reflect deeply on the spiritual and ethical teaching of our respective traditions.

The remedy for these unoriginal sins include an unwavering commitment to justice and peace; a collective summons to renewed moral decency; open-hearted engagement with the “other” whom God also fashioned from earth and breath; and honest reflection about the roots and branches of racism and bigotry in our own communities, whether in Charlottesville or Boston.

The remedy also requires us to admit that it is far from “self-evident” in this country that “all people are created equal.” Rather, this remains a sacred aspiration to which we the members of these United States—northerners and southerners alike—struggle to achieve. To do so, we must work daily to dismantle entrenched systems of oppression and degradation.

As clergy and religious professionals living together in the historic city of Boston, we stand united in support of the foundational democratic value of pluralism—religious, ethnic, racial, and otherwise. As we decry the abhorrent behavior of the violent bigots in Charlottesville and the underwhelming response of some of our national leaders, we also call on our communities to rededicate themselves to serving as agents of healing in our homes, houses of worship, work places, schools, playgrounds and streets.

Knowing that many people in our communities will gather for prayer and public action this weekend, we offer the following questions for contemplation and discussion:

  • What is one concrete action you can take today to oppose the despicable actions in Charlottesville and elsewhere in our country?
  • How can you help address issues of racism and bigotry in your own community?
  • Where might you engage in meaningful conversation and/or action with people from other religious and cultural communities?
  • What sustains you in your peace and justice efforts? What resources do you need to carry this work forward?


  • An Interfaith Gathering of Unity, Love, and Strength, Friday, August 18, 5 pm, at Temple Israel of Boston, 477 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02215: 
    Following this gathering, all are inviting to join Temple Israel at 6 pm for “A Sabbath of Love and Light,” a Shabbat worship experience open to all, devoted to the values of justice and compassion.
  • CCFC Prayer Meeting: 
    We will gather in the CCFC Sanctuary tomorrow, August 19, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am to pray in anticipation of the counter-protest. Even if you plan on not attending the counter-protest, we encourage you to still join us in prayer! As we mentioned this past Sunday, there are sometimes we need education, and sometimes we need exorcism (oftentimes we need both!). This will be a time when we will be praying in power against the powers and principalities that perpetuate injustice and bigotry.
  • Saturday Marches and Rallies:
    Should you choose to attend this, we urge you to find a buddy. Do not go alone.

    Saturday at 10 am: "Fight Supremacy! Boston Counter-Protest and Resistance Rally"

    Gather at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, Roxbury. Meet here and march to the Boston Common (organized by Fight Supremacy and Black Lives Matter). This is a very large march whose organizers are intending to confront the white supremacists. If you are feeling called to march with them, know that this is a serious commitment. The organizers strongly request you prepare by attending a non-violent action training in advance.

    Please note: The Boston police will do their level best to place themselves between the white supremacists and any protestors. The Boston Police and State Troopers will be present with a significant show of force as well as many undercover officers. For those who are planning on attending the counter-protest, please read this article for more specific information about what to expect and guidelines (no backpacks, strollers, etc...):

  • Non-violent direct action trainings to help participants prepare
    Trainings by Black Lives Matter:

    -Friday, 10 am - 8 pm, Rolling Training, Union United Methodist Church, Boston
    -Friday, 5 pm - 10 pm, Hope Central Church, JP

    To attend, RSVP

CHARLOTTESVILLE "SYLLABUS" Charlottesville Syllabus: Readings on the History of Hate in America

It has been a difficult week in American history, and a lot of educators have been wondering how to speak to their students about the white supremacist rally that took place on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the violent aftermath. JSTOR Daily, which offers scholarly context to the news, seems well-positioned to provide help in this regard.

Here, we often find ourselves telling origin stories or pointing out historical precedent to current events. That’s because we believe, we hope that there are lessons in the past. We trust in the peer-reviewed, fact-based, careful thinking and writing that scholars do to help us understand everything beautiful and ugly about our world.

The essays and articles below, published over the course of JSTOR Daily‘s first three years, demonstrate this. We join in the tradition of N. D. B. Connolly & Keisha N. Blain’s “Trump Syllabus 2.0” in seeking to illuminate the cultural, economic, and political currents that led to the present moment.

As Audre Lorde wrote in 1991: “Racism cuts a wide and corrosive swath across each of our lives.” This small selection of articles reminds us of the complexity of this statement. As always, free access to the underlying scholarship cited in the stories is available to everyone.

The Legacy of Slavery: Institutionalized Racism and American Culture

The History of the KKK in American Politics
So-called white nationalists have long been involved with mainstream American politics. In the 1920s, during what historians call the Ku Klux Klan’s “second wave,” Klan members served in all levels of government.

Ossian Sweet’s Black Life Mattered
One man’s life shines a light on issues still facing black Americans today: not just segregation (prescribed or by default), but also injustice at the hands of those meant to keep the peace.

The Psychological Power of the Confederate Flag
An experiment in political psychology points to just how powerful the Confederate flag continues to be in stirring up racist attitudes among whites.

The Devastation of Black Wall Street
Despite racial discrimination and Jim Crow segregation, the Greenwood district in Oklahoma offered proof that black entrepreneurs were capable of creating vast wealth. For those who supported black subjugation, witnessing blacks thrive and defy the stereotypes of black inferiority was too much.

The Lasting Fallout of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study
Decades after the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, health statistics continue to illustrate the lack of trust black Americans have for healthcare professionals.

Why Racism is Bad for Everyone’s Health
Racism has shaped American health care policy since our very first forays into creating a social safety net.


Henry Ford’s Anti-Semitism
The industrial giant distributed anti-Semitic articles throughout the 20s, and later expressed regret for the screeds.

The Deafening (((Echoes))) of Marked Language
Even in ordinary, everyday language use, the very words and expressions we use are already marked for our cultural and social biases.

How Hitler Played the American Press
By regurgitating pieces of “news” planted by Nazi press agents, the American press got duped into acting as a megaphone for Nazism.

How the Word “Shoddy” Became an Anti-Semitic Slur
Gary L. Bunker and John Appel detail how “shoddy” also came to have anti-Semitic connotations during the Civil War.

Fascism and Neo-Nazism

Defining Fascism
What is fascism? You might think you know it when you see it, but a generic definition of this 20th-century-born totalitarianism is actually difficult to pin down.

The Pledge of Allegiance’s Creepy Past
A few decades after the Bellamy Salute made its debut, fascists in Italy and Germany started doing one just like it.

Old English Has a Serious Image Problem
The American neo-Nazi movement that calls itself the “alt-right” is resurrecting medievally tinged celebrations of “European heritage” as part of its racist agenda.

Sophie Scholl and the Legacy of Resistance
How did a young woman named Sophie Scholl become the face of resistance to Nazism?

The Historic Echoes of Trump’s Immigration Ban
Discriminatory citizenship restrictions were abolished in 1965, but a complex quota system remains to this day.

A Nation of Immigrants

The 1917 Immigration Act That Presaged Trump’s Muslim Ban
In 2017, debates over who belongs and does not belong in America, and who is “worthy” of admission, still employ ethnic, racial, and religious terms.

The Making of Asian America
Morrison G. Wong has found that an increased Asian immigration has more of an effect on the state level than on the national level.

When Mexico Was Flooded with American Immigrants
One early complaint of Mexican officials was that many of the settlers came without passports and were from the uneducated classes in the U.S.

Immigration and National Security in George Washington’s Day
Both the British Parliament and the colonies actively tried to attract foreign immigrants to North America.

Migrants, Refugees, and Expats: How Humanity Comes in Waves
How has the word migrant, which once simply referred to a person who moves from one place to another, acquired a negative connotation?

The Italian-American Immigration Experience
Historically, Americans have been opposed to each major wave of immigration while it is happening. Later, though, we look back on the newcomers as having contributed greatly to our nation.

How the Chinese Fought Discrimination in 19th Century Arizona
Anti-Chinese sentiment resulted in discriminatory legislation throughout the American West during the second half of the 19th century.

Lessons from a Japanese Internment Camp
Trump ally Carl Higbie recently cited Japanese internment camps during World War II as a “precedent” for a proposed registry of Muslims in the U.S.

The “Model Minority” Myth and the Hidden Discrimination of Asian Americans
Asian-Americans have long held a complex place within the American racial hierarchy, writes researcher David Quan.

Race in American Education

Can College Cure Racism?
New reading requirements at Harvard have added fuel to an ongoing debate about diversity in curricula. At HBCUs these fights had a different dimension.

Little Rock, Then and Now
Segregation and inequality are still major issues in Little Rock today. Though the laws that held the institution in place have been repealed, corrupt housing policies and the creation of expensive, predominantly white private schools have kept many of those structures in place.

Constructing the White Race
In his critical review of “the new history of race in America,” Peter Kolchin says that “at best these works have underscored the historical process of racial construction, showing how assumptions about race and races have changed over time and exploring human agency in the making of race.”

Project Implicit Reveals Your Hidden Prejudice
The Implicit Association Test demonstrates that the majority of people are at least a little bit racist. Can anything be done to counter this?

The Rise of the Crowd-Sourced Syllabus
The rise of the crowd-sourced syllabus is an important leap in both disseminating and gathering knowledge and in shaping active learners, no matter their age or location.

These articles, compiled by JSTOR Founding Editor Catherine Halley, are just a small selection of the work we publish on JSTOR Daily. Please use the tags on this article to find your way to more useful content, or sign up for our newsletter to get a digest of stories each week.

Showing our True Colors, BY: AUDRE LORDE
Callaloo, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter, 1991), pp. 67-71
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Brian Corr
Executive Director, Cambridge Peace Commission
51 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139 • 617.349.4694 •