The Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP-National) is deeply disturbed by the violent demonstrations held by extremist groups such as white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis, among others this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
NAAP strongly condemns the violent acts these groups engaged in and expresses solidarity with all individuals and organizations who counter-protested the fascism and racism they stand for. We express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Heather Heyer, who lost her life standing up against the hate and violence on display in Charlottesville this weekend, as well as the families and friends of the two police officers who lost their lives this past week.
These events are not unprecedented, and are a byproduct of a deep-seated and institutionalized racism that has existed in America for decades. Our community is all too familiar with such discrimination and hatred. We have dealt with and continue to deal with Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiments.
None the less, NAAP is encouraged by the strength and tenacity of those who mobilized against racism, hate, and inequality and pledges its solidarity with communities of color. We will join these communities in working to dismantle policies aimed at disenfranchising our most basic human rights. We are committed to continue to advocate for equality and dignity for all peoples, no matter the color of their skin, the accent of their tongue, religion, creed, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.
The unique diversity of this country is a virtuous characteristic that we support and hold to high esteem. This issue is not “two-sides”, we believe the only side is that of progress, and denounce efforts to establish a false equivalency between these violent extremist groups and those who peacefully oppose them in the interest of basic human rights.