Over the weekend, a demonstration by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly when a counterdemonstration was intentionally attacked by a malicious racist driving a speeding car. In the terrorist act, one person was killed, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, while 19 more were injured. And while our own president couldn’t be bothered to condemn the murder for what it is, many musicians, artists, and other politicians have taken firm stances against the ordeal. Now, the Dave Matthews Band, originally from Charlottesville, have come out with strong words as well. Read the statement, posted to the band’s website, below.
We are all disgusted by the acts of racist, hate-filled terrorism in our hometown this weekend. Like so many our hearts are broken. Our thoughts go out to the families and victims of these unbelievable acts. This is not the Charlottesville we know and love. This town has grown from its sometimes great but often difficult history and is marching toward an inclusive future. This murderous act and those who incited it are not what we aspire to be. We will work tirelessly, hand-in-hand with our community to help one another so we can all heal from this sickening display of horror. Hate speech disguised as free speech is cowardly and shameful. Such speech gives permission to the murderous crimes we witnessed today. There is nothing pure, acceptable, or philosophical about Nazism, or racism masked as heritage.
The multicultural tapestry that is America must come together, acknowledge our very difficult but remarkable history. We must move away from the racist and ignorant elements of our past toward an inclusive, kinder, more intelligent future.