A year after the Charlottesville protests, US still needs to address history of racism and race relations

Members of the Charlottesville community hold a vigil for Heather Heyer following last Saturday's protest organized by white nationalists that turned deadly at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. on August 16, 2017. Picture taken on August 16, 2017.   Courtesy Tim Dodson/The Cavalier Daily/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. - RC1AE091ECB0

A year ago, white supremacists marched in the Unite the Right rally and clashed with protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. In this video, Brookings scholars Camille Busette and Nicol Turner-Lee discuss the current state of race relations in the United States and make recommendations for how to improve them.

Camille Busette, director of the Brookings Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, explains that “we do have a pretty healthy white supremacist group that’s active throughout the U.S.” Busette argues that it is time to acknowledge the brutality and terrorism that characterized slavery and the Jim Crow era, and which still exists today. “We actually have a very violent past when it comes to race relations. And people were hurt. And there’s a lot of pain,” she says. “I think we do need to have a national acknowledgement of that.”

Brookings Fellow Nicol Turner-Lee agrees that race relations in the United States still need work. She explains that, in our own time, “We’ve actually seen people of color be subjected to micro transgressions, experiencing both physical lynching and emotional lynching and embarrassment.” She also agrees that there needs to be national action, saying “perhaps a revised, revamped, refreshed Kerner Commission report is the best way to go.”

For more Brookings content on the anniversary of the Charlottesville protests, visit: Charlottesville: One Year Later

Charlottesville One Year Later