Charlottesville—A Year Later

By Susan Frederick-Gray

In "Documenting Hate: Charlottesville," FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate white supremacists who terrorized people in Charlottesville.

I watched the harrowing Frontline report from ProPublica about the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that happened one year ago this Sunday. This is such an important piece of in-depth journalism not just about Charlottesville, but about the growing and explicitly violent white supremacist and neo-nazi movement that has been emboldened in the last few years.

I am grateful for the media who are paying attention to the anniversary and uncovering the larger reality of what happened in Charlottesville, including law enforcement abdicating their responsibility – despite the violence that has been growing at these white supremacist rallies across the country.

Personally, I have been deeply aware of the upcoming anniversary. I feel the memory of that day, it’s terror and trauma, in my body and spirit. I hold close in my heart the people of Charlottesville, the people injured that day, the family of Heather Heyer who was killed, the church and synagogue that were targeted, and all the faith leaders and activists who showed up that day in a spirit of love and common humanity to resist fear and violence and hate. I pray for you all – for your strength, for your healing, for your wholeness.

This Sunday, this same gathering of multiple white supremacist organizations will be meeting in Washington, D.C. for another rally. My prayer as this violent group rallies in our nation’s capitol is for a powerful force of love to overwhelm the hate – to be a reminder of the beauty, the hope, the possibility that is alive in fullness of diverse human community. For this beauty, this hope, lives in the human spirit, if we will only nurture and celebrate it.

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray recalls the hatred she witnessed in Charlottesville during her General Assembly sermon, "No Time for a Casual Faith."