Shortly after the 2016 election Heather Heyer posted the words “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” on her Facebook page, and because white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr murdered Heather by ramming his car into her and fellow counter-protesters as they stood up to the Nazis and white nationalists who brought violence and hatred to Charlottesville, those words are now her last on that forum.
We ARE paying attention, and the events of August 12 have shocked and horrified – and yes Heather, outraged us. But the many hundreds of vigils and marches across the country held last weekend, with more being planned every day, prove that we are vast in number. They console us and firm our resolve.We are indivisible against white supremacists and Nazis, and the tacit approval this administration provides for them. We are outraged by the pitiful, too-little too-late bleatings of Trump in (not) calling out Fields’ attack, in continuing to employ extremists Steven Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Steven Miller in his administration.
Many vigils were held in the Bay Area. IEB member Heidi reports on one — More than 120 people flocked to our candlelight circle at sundown in an El Cerrito neighborhood park. We began with a moment of silence, then people spoke out about the effects of hatred on our lives and the need to stand up and fight back, particularly for our children.An immigrant from Germany spoke with horror about seeing Nazis in his adopted country, and discussed the law imposed on Germans after the fall of the Third Reich prohibiting public display of Nazi symbols. The voice of a 93-year old veteran of World War II was filled with grief as he talked about defeating Nazis in his youth, only to find them infesting our country at the end of his life.Others read poems or talked with strength and passion about their fears and resolve, and we sang together. And throughout we held our candles high to fight the darkness.