SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – People young and old, from all backgrounds and from all parts of Sacramento Valley, marched Sunday night against the rhetoric and violence from “Unite the Right,” the gathering of White nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday that ended in violence with one person dead.
“No Trump! No KKK! No fascists, USA!” was one of the loudest chants heard as more than 1,000 people marched from Sacramento City Hall to the State Capitol, in an event dubbed as “Stand in Solidarity.”
“My son is mixed. My husband is African American. And what I saw yesterday turned my stomach,” said Heather Leonard, a local science teacher who carried a sign denouncing “ignorance.”
She was among those who attended, including state law makers and Sacramento city council members, taking a stand against the recent rise in white nationalism and the events from Charlottesville.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg spoke at the rally. Like many, he was critical of President Trump for not calling out white supremacists, especially when Candidate Trump was so critical of President Obama for not using the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“Words matter. What a leader of a country does and does not say – matter,” said Steinberg. “President Trump’s intentional failure to call out white supremacy and white supremacists is deeply disturbing.”
Data from The Southern Poverty Law Center points out that more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by white supremacists than any other extremist group. Data from the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, suggests that from 2007 to 2016, 74 percent of people killed by domestic extremists groups were killed white supremacists.
Such statistics can be hard for many immigrant communities.
“Well, yeah, it makes it difficult to live in America. You are brought up a basis that we are all united. And when you see (what happened in Charlottesville), you just feel like your entire life living here is a lie,” shared Marwa Amin, an Afghan-American student from Elk Grove who came out with her family.
For many African Americans, the images of Charlottesville take on different meaning, given their community’s history with racism.
“Honestly, I was shocked and I was in disbelief. Some of the images I saw on social media really hurt my heart,” said Erin Campbell, from Sacramento. She is student studying sociology. She says she came out as a way to fight back against racism and hate, but to also point what see calls a double standard in American society.
“If it were African Americans doing this, the tables would be turned. They would be getting arrested. Everyone would be called out to put them away. But Caucasians … and nothing happened,” said Campbell.
The peaceful march concluded at the State Capitol close to 9 p.m. No arrests were made.