“I’m tired,” community activist Rosia Parker says in our feature this week. So many of us are.
We’re two and a half years in to a presidency defined by all-caps Twitter rants and dehumanizing attacks on vulnerable people. We’re a few days past two more mass shootings, almost back-to-back, one of which was explicitly motivated by racial hatred. It’s been almost two years since violent white nationalists turned our city into a hashtag, and the statues that brought them to town are still standing. As I write this, “The Charlottesville lie”—a conspiracy theory about the president’s response to Unite the Right—is trending on Twitter.
It’s an exhausting time, and the only way to get through it, I think, is through community. As we thought about how to cover the upcoming anniversary of a weekend so many of us wish we could forget, we decided to approach it as a conversation—what has and hasn’t changed? What do we need to do to move forward?
Those are the questions we all need to be asking, and the responses we got, are a reminder that, while there are no easy answers, there are plenty of people here who care about this city and are fighting to make
“Projects like the ‘Inside Out’ mural give me hope,” Live Arts’ Bree Luck told us. “When angry outbursts and expressions of vitriol fill our newsfeeds, it is especially important to have inspirational reminders that people are effecting positive change.”
The mural, sponsored by the city through Unity Days and produced by Lisa Draine, depicts 120 local activists, spread across the wall of the Violet Crown (and gracing our cover this week).
In darker moments, I’m inclined to make a metaphor of the fact that this homage in paper and paste, already disintegrating after less than a week, is no match for the granite and bronze monuments so firmly entrenched a few blocks away.
But after all, it’s the work—the work of making Charlottesville a better, more just place, and the belief that we can get there—that matters. And that continues.
Updated 8/9/19 to include the name of the mural’s producer, Lisa Draine.