Community Leaders and Organizations Across
Orange County Speak Out in Solidarity Against White Supremacy and Hate.
After a spate of hate activity, including white nationalist leafletting, and attacks targeting Asian Americans OC Human Relations Council is asking local organizations and leaders to sign a statement of solidarity. As of April 8, 2021, the statement has over 170 signatories.
- Community leaders in Orange County are coming together to stand against white supremacy.
- Calling on diverse community allies to join the cause and commit to the journey now and ahead.
- Together we can reject fear-based hate mongering that pits communities against one another.
- The statement and allied signatories can be found here.
- Anyone wishing to join in the cause can sign up here.
“We decided to circulate this statement because we are seeing fear used to pit people of different races against one another. We believe that all of us need to step into the fight against racism and white supremacy because we are negatively impacted by it, as is our society,” said OC Human Relations Council CEO, Alison Edwards. “We further reject the notion that we can create an equitable future by finger-pointing and blaming. Instead, it is time to engage in the long struggle to right the wrongs of the past with new ideas and innovations that do not repeat the injustices that brought us here.”
In addition to collecting signatures, OC Human Relations Council will partner with the City of Huntington Beach to host an online event on Sunday April 11th at 1pm to share tools for standing up to hate and bigotry. Residents can join the event here: bit.ly/31Uzn5T
The statement is as follows:
Fighting White Supremacy Means Fighting Racism, Not Each Other
In the wake of 4 years of increased hate activity in Orange County, a nation-wide wave of attacks on the Asian American community, and a bold and outspoken white nationalist movement we come together in solidarity in order to eradicate white supremacy.
In the words of john a. powell, “to succeed, we have to be clear about what white supremacy is and what it is not. Crucially, calling out white supremacy is not a dig against white people. There will be those who insist that to use the term is to attack all white people. They are wrong. White supremacy is an ideology, a way of viewing the world. And while this ideology may be embraced by many people who are white, there is strong evidence to suggest that most do not. To challenge white supremacy is the right thing to do. All ideas that say one race or ethnic group is superior to another must be challenged.” 1
We reject the idea that any race or ethnic group is superior to another.
We reject the idea that advocating and working for racial equity is an attack on white people.
We believe that creating a place where we can live free from hate and discrimination will benefit everyone.
We believe that breaking down barriers to success is not a zero sum game, but a level playing field.
We welcome any and all people of every identity and background who want to make sure that the people of Orange County are safe and included to get involved, together we are stronger.
But we also need to recognize the complexity of these issues. For example:
- While we stand firm against the violent acts perpetrated against Asian Americans, we should also acknowledge that increased policing, as some have called for, is likely a response that not all communities would see as a path to community safety.
- As we call in all diverse community allies, we acknowledge that they may struggle and be faced with discomfort when mistakes such as biased behavior are inevitably made. Calling in doesn’t mean no accountability, but it does mean being on the journey together.
- When we ask for our formal and elected leaders to take action, we acknowledge that some of these leaders may not be trusted by all community members, but we ask anyway because we need everyone to take a stand along with us.
In a diverse and vibrant community, we can hold these tensions and still work together toward equity with humanity and caring.
We the undersigned leaders and organizations are standing together in this vision of our county where mutual respect and acceptance drive our work for equity. A county where white supremacy and hate have no place to thrive. A county where divide and conquer tactics find no takers.
About Orange County Human Relations Council
OC Human Relations Council is no stranger to resolving conflicts, facing down hate or leveling the playing field. Since 1991, we’ve been here in the Orange County community, bringing people together, facilitating respectful dialogue and sharing practical tools to build understanding across divides. This in-the-moment work never stops: The mentoring and engagement, the bridge building, the ongoing fight to make antiracism a permanent driver of our local conscience. The ripple effect of this work is a new generation of mindful leaders who are leading through the lens of antiracism, diversity, unity and acceptance. It’s building safer, more inclusive schools, neighborhoods and businesses. OC Human Relations Council is uniquely equipped to work through the challenges of the present. Yet day by day, act by act, we’re building a future where all can thrive without limits or judgements, and contribute to a healthy, equitable community.
The mission of OC Human Relations Council is to foster mutual understanding among residents and eliminate prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination in order to make Orange County a better place for all people to live, work and do business. OC Human Relations Council is hosting a series of OC Together Dialogues on Race Relations with the upcoming one on April 27 from 5-7 pm. Dialogues are open to residents seeking to understand race relations through active listening and learning. Explore, listen and learn from each other through respectful dialogue. RSVP here http://bit.ly/OCHR_Dialogue_Apr