Anti-hate rally reinforces city’s message of unity

Columbus City Hall served as the gathering place Aug. 13 for hundreds of local residents who wanted to condemn the bigotry and racism displayed in Charlottesville, Virginia, by white nationalists.

The local response followed a weekend in which white nationalists marched through that Virginia community spewing racial epithets and brandishing torches. One woman died and others were injured when one man associated with the rally plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

Those who took part in the Columbus rally demonstrated that they are standing united with Charlottesville in opposition to hate groups and reinforced that hate and violence have no place in Columbus.

The city has worked hard to let it be known that it is a welcoming and inclusive city. The long existence of a Human Rights Commission is one example. Columbus also has consistently stood up and expressed its values about what is and is not acceptable in the community. Rallies in the past few years have focused on unity, love and respect among different races, religions and nationalities, and taken stances against domestic violence, racism and discrimination.

Those who organized and attended the Aug. 13 rally at City Hall should be proud of their efforts because they sent a message that was clear: hatred, racism and violence are unwelcome in this community.

The hope is that the message resonates with others and encourages more people to take such a stand.