The board and staff of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation denounce, in the strongest terms, the racism and anti-Semitism surfacing across the country. While the violence in Charlottesville has rightly drawn the world’s attention and scorn, subtle, socially acceptable forms of everyday bigotry are also nefarious in their hobbling effects on opportunity, dignity and humanity.
We grieve for the loss of life and injuries suffered in Charlottesville, and for all who have fallen to racism and hate. Now is not the time for moral equivocation. Reversing this tide demands absolute clarity from leaders in communities, schools, houses of worship, state capitals and the federal government. Anything less than a forceful rejection of white supremacy serves only to enable extremists. To ensure a more equitable future, we must challenge ourselves to have honest conversations about our past, and the ways hundreds of years of institutional racism have benefited some of us to the detriment of the rest.
Across the South, there are organizations and networks committed to addressing these entrenched challenges by promoting equity, justice and opportunity – difficult work that often puts people in harm’s way. The Babcock Foundation proudly supports these organizations, and we will continue to listen to people in communities across the region, seek to understand their challenges and opportunities, and determine how we can be better partners in creating a more equitable South.