There have been a lot of startling visuals that have come out of the white supremacist hate marches in Charlottesville, Virginia over the last 18 hours and more will likely follow. Those need to be seen and processed. Not just the numbers and the (tiki) torches, but the faces of people brazen and seemingly proud to be known for the bile that they spew. This is happening in our world, on our watch. But we also need to hear the sounds coming from Charlottesville. Not the Nazi nonsense — their party line is as familiar as it is stunning that it still carries weight with some individuals in 2017 — but those who are standing up to the hate.
Dr. Wes Bellamy is the 30-year-old Vice Mayor of Charlottesville and the President of 100 Black Men Of Central VA. He’s also someone who has had to work through his own bigoted feelings in the past, drawing criticism for anti-white and other controversial tweets he authored between 2009 and 2014. But Bellamy has since disowned those views, saying that he had come to “some false conclusions about the world” while trying to “mature.” And if you need evidence of his growth, you need look no further than his powerful remarks to a diverse group of counter-protesters on the front lines in Charlottesville who are letting their presence be known.