CitySquare and Charlottesville, VA

Categories: In the News

Dear CitySquare Family,

What we witnessed on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia last Friday night and into the day on Saturday was horrific, detestable and deeply unsettling.

At CitySquare in our unrelenting fight against poverty, we face the power and the reality of racism, segregation and discrimination on a daily basis. We recognize that our neighbors of color, as well as our African American and Hispanic team members, continue to suffer the ill-effects of bigotry, hatred and systemic racism here in Dallas.

As your leaders, we want you to hear from us clearly and unequivocally, what you already know, I am sure: we abhor racism wherever and whenever we encounter it. We attempt to the best of our ability to condemn and oppose clearly and forcefully racism whenever we observe it at work. Expressions of racist hatred will never be knowingly allowed to move into our organization. Furthermore, we have long recognized that the sometimes uphill battle we wage against the causes and effects of poverty can be largely defined and understood by the same racism we saw in bold, grotesque relief in Charlottesville last weekend. We work on a daily basis with this clear awareness.

Contrary to the opinions of some, when it comes to racism, hate speech, so called “white supremacy,” anti-immigrant xenophobia, anti-Muslim, and anti-Jewish, Neo-Nazi worldviews; there simply are not two sides of any question to consider in this case.

The carrying of Nazi flags is an evil expression of anti-Semitic bigotry that has no place in our national life. The Nazi flag is a symbol of an evil, failed state that brutally killed more than six million Jews and countless Romani people, homosexuals and others judged to be inferior during the European Holocaust. Those who sacrificed their lives during in World War II struck down the evil represented in that symbol.

We feel that this is also true of the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, as well as other symbols and icons of our nation’s racist past. The notion that slavery was our nation’s “original sin” has merit in our way of thinking. We support national movements to rid our society of these offensive symbols, as well as the attitudes and behaviors that they too often inspire.

We believe violence is always wrong.

Hate is always evil.

White supremacy is a lie.

White nationalism is narrow-minded stupidity.

You can expect to see us continue to be involved at CitySquare and in the larger community expressing these views and working with other community leaders to drive out bigotry, racism and discrimination.

We remain deeply committed to love, compassionate service, open-mindedness and the spread of equal opportunity and the realization of equity, fairness, inclusiveness and transformative hope for the benefit of all of the people of Dallas and beyond.

Thank you for who you choose to be in this city of need, injustice and pain. Thank you for standing with your team and with our neighbors in the realization of a better city that delivers hope, love and respect to everyone we encounter. Thank you for putting love in action. With every expression of love, truth and justice, we are building the “Beloved Community” that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned.

Grateful for you and your service,

Larry James
Chief Executive Officer

John Siburt
President and COO