Thoughts on Charlottesville

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Brothers and sisters,

Like all of you, we were horrified by the outpouring of bigotry, hatred and violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend.

The officers and staff of SSEU Local 371 cherish this union for what it is: a family. A big, exuberant, sometimes contentious, but always mighty group of brothers and sisters of every race, nationality, creed, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

Saturday’s events reminded us that an undercurrent of hate continues to fester in this country. While we are dismayed at the lack of leadership surrounding these events both in Charlottesville and from the White House, we retain a sense of hope.

We need only look around at the members of our mighty, mighty union to remember that we have the power to fight these types of events. We must get out and protest. We must fight for our rights, as working people and as Americans. We must vote for representatives who will defend our values—and yes, that means going to the polls even in the off-years, in the primaries, and in the smaller elections that are frequently overlooked.

It is by taking action that we build up a sense of pride in who we are. It is by taking action that we let the bigots know: we are many; they are few.

-President Anthony Wells-

Social Service Employees Union Local 371
817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003