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    By Dr. Marcy Adelman–

    The President’s statements in his press conference on August 15 were a watershed moment. Trump exposed his true self. There could be no ambiguity about what he meant to say, and who he is. The President insisted there is little difference between white supremacists and neo-Nazis who traffic in hate and violence and the people in opposition to hate who seek equality and justice. Instead of speaking out against all forms of hatred, the President of the United States became an enabler of the very groups that want to rip our country apart.  

    As the events of Charlottesville unfolded, I found myself, like so many other Americans, filled with a mixture of sadness, repulsion and increasing determination to stop the hate and the madness. Armed neo-Nazis and white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville chanting racist and anti-Semitic slurs. A car driven by a white supremacist intentionally drove into a group of counter protesters and tragically killed Heather Heyer and injured 19 other people. In his response, the President failed to condemn hatred and white supremacists, and in so doing, shamelessly revealed that he is morally bankrupt as a person and as a leader.

    We, the American people, need to look to each other to bring our country together and to restore cherished values of social justice, civil rights and treating each other, regardless of differences, with the dignity and respect each one of us deserves. How we choose to stand up to those who would destroy what we hold most dear will define who we are and our future for generations to come.

    I urge non-violent resistance and solidarity with all who would protest those who incite violence and hate. White supremacists and neo-Nazis hold rallies to gain attention by inciting violence. We don’t have to play into their game.

    Eric Lui, founder and CEO of Citizen University and author of You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizens Guide to Making Change Happen, identified four things to do to counter hate:

    1- Practice self-reflection.

    Right now, action is essential but action alone will not change the systemic racism in our country. Each of us needs to reflect on how we have contributed directly or indirectly to the hate and bigotry in our country. Going forward, we need to have a deeper conversation about race. Individual and collective reflection with compassion for ourselves and others will deepen and advance the conversation on race and enhance and inform the actions we take and the future we build. 

    2- Ensure that Nazi and white supremacist rallies, which are meant to incite violence, do not turn violent.

    You can do this by not attending racist rallies. A peaceful and powerful alternative is to attend separate anti-hate counter rallies that are a positive statement of our common humanity and that reflect the full diversity of our country. It isn’t just what we do, but how we do it that says who we are.

    White supremacists have secured a permit to rally in San Francisco on August 26. On August 26, a separate peaceful, anti-hate counter rally is being planned for the Civic Center. I plan on being there and hope you will join me.

    3- Commit to being pro-active. The time to act against hate and intolerance in now.

    Be willing to stand up and speak out publicly and/or privately against hateful and bigoted behavior and policies. Contact your representatives and legislators and insist that they condemn hateful speech and that they condemn anyone in or outside the government that speaks in support of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

    Reach out across differences to work together to restore our country to the values of social justice and equality. Urge our elected officials to stand up against hate and be counted. Call Paul Ryan, phone number 202-225-3031, and Mitch McConnell, phone number 202-224-2541, and ask them to censure Trump for his failure to condemn hate groups.

    4- Invest in causes and organizations that are working to make our communities and our country more inclusive and safe for all people.

    Help to organize your networks—friends, neighbors, colleagues, congregations—to donate and support organizations that combat hate and empower marginalized and vulnerable communities. Here are links to six national organizations that are on the front lines:

    ACLU (

    SAGE (

    NCLR (

    Indivisible (

    LGBTQ Task Force

    ( (

    This is a defining moment in history. The future is in our hands.

    Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice, is co-founder of the non-profit organization Openhouse. She is also a leading advocate and educator in LGBT affirming dementia care and a member of the Advisory Council to the Aging and Adult Services Commission.