Resisting White Supremacy
"We are working for a day ... when discrimination
is wiped out of our laws, habits and hearts"
– from KFTC's Vision Statement
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth has a deep commitment to racial justice. We stand for refugees, imigrants, black lives and others who are oppressed and abused because of race, religion and other identities. At KFTC, we recognize that we are – all of us – bound together. We believe that we can build a bright future together and we are working for a day when "discrimination is wiped out of our laws, habits and heart." Overcoming racism and halting the spiraling cycle of violence is an immense challenge we all face, a big one that is getting bigger in our current political climate.
In February of 2017, we learned that three white supremacist groups are coming to Kentucky in April for a series of events in Prestonsburg and Pikeville. Already these groups are in those areas recruiting for their hate-filled agenda.
The lead group, the Traditionalist Worker Party, is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems.” The TWP is coming to Kentucky, according to its literature, because of the high percentage of people who voted for Donald Trump for president.
The response in the targeted communities was immediate and strongly in opposition to the white supremacists’ presence and message. Several counter events are planned, including the Rally for Equality and American Values on April 29 in Pikeville.
KFTC is supporting these and other actions that build on our decades of anti-racism efforts. Members are working on a series of actions and activities leading up to the April rallies and continue afterward, for as long as it takes. We have to not just react to hate, we have to overcome it.
Information on the Traditionalist Worker Party & white supremacy
- Southern Poverty Law Center. Tradionalist Worker Party
SPLC categorizes the TWP as a hate group, describing them as, “...a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserves its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views.”
- Huffington Post. My Journey to the Center of the Alt-Right
Luke O'brien, an investigative journalist, spent weeks with many on the “alt-right,” including the TWP and Matthew Heimbach. The article includes information about why the TWP is targeting Appalachia: “The Trump campaign has also unwittingly generated valuable intel. Heimbach and Parrott are using a map of Trump strongholds to target areas where white nationalism would play best. “If they’re ready to vote for Trump, they can’t be too far away from being ready to support a real nationalist party,” Heimbach reasoned. The TWP is focused on greater Appalachia and planning to conduct outreach in districts in West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee in anticipation of running local candidates in 2018.”
No Hate video call recordings
An online video call discussion on anti-racist resistance in Kentucky with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Political Research Associates and Rural Organizing Project. This video call recording begins with a discussion from Political Research Associates about the white supremacist groups that are organizing and recruiting in eastern Kentucky: who they are, what their tactics are, and how their activities fit into the larger national context. We also hear from organizers with the Rural Organizing Project, who have done organizing against white supremacists in rural Oregon.
We have seen since the day the TWP announced their plans for eastern Kentucky, they were met with fierce resistance from people of all backgrounds, ages, and political identities. We know that there is no room for hate in our communities and that we can–and will–resist their hate-filled agenda.
At KFTC, we believe in the power of community organizing–people working together to achieve common goals. The key to community organizing is building relationships among diverse groups of people and to do that, it takes bringing folks together and having conversations about the issues folks care about and that affect them. This is a long-term approach that will take time but ultimately brings people together.
Talking about these issues can be difficult but it’s also important that we have those conversations in these times of resistance as we do the long-term, anti-racist organizing. We have collected a set of resources that can help you navigate some of these questions and conversations.
- A list of organizing resources from Political Research Associates
- Ground Rules and Tips for Challenging the Right
- Challenging the Right
- Personal and community safety
- What to do when organized supremacists announce a rally (from Progressive Movements Commons)
- Ten Points to Remember from the Center for Democratic Renewal
- F.R.A.M.E.S.: This worksheet provides a checklist of qualities that help create an effective message, and a memorable acronym. (From the Center for Story-Based Strategy)
Important note: The Rally for Equality and American Values in Pikeville is being rescheduled
Rally for Equality and American Values
Saturday, April 29
2:00 - 5:00 pm
University of Pikeville
Learn more about the Rally and get future updates, including a rescheduled rally date at the Facebook event page.
Attend a "No Hate Action Call'
Thursday, April 13 at 8 pm EST
No Hate Action Call: Learning about white nationalists in Kentucky and how to organize against hate
Watch the video call recording here.
Tuesday, April 25 at 8 pm EST
No Hate Action Call: Getting ready for the anti-Nazi rally
Register here: kftc.org/rally-call
Thursday, May 4 at 8 pm EST
No Hate Action Call: What's next for anti-racist and anti-Nazi organizing in Kentucky?
Register here: kftc.org/anti-racism-call