COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Racism in Columbus and America. That was the topic of a community discussion at the YWCA Columbus Monday night. Dozens of people screened the HBO VICE News Tonight segment, “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” and talked about how they can make a difference.
“This is a real problem,” said attendee Mindy McFann with Hear Jane Roar, a women’s storytelling website/political advocacy group.
People described feeling anger, disgust, sadness and fear after watching the footage of the white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Horrifying, hate is always horrifying,” said McFann.
“Angry, but not surprised,” said Columbus resident Von Hubbard.
“I did not realize that the hatred was as deep as the video showed,” said Columbus resident Donald Wells.
The YWCA Columbus held the community discussion about racism and admitted there are no easy answers.
“I think it was uncomfortable and I think that was our goal, is to recognize that these conversations are uncomfortable and to ask people to lean into discomfort,” said LC Johnson with YWCA Columbus.
What can I do? That was the question each person was asked. Wells said he’s going to get out from behind his keyboard.
“One of the lessons that we all have to
learn is that you can’t win a battle on social media so I’m really working hard at taking those conversations and saying hey let’s sit down and talk so I can get your understanding,” said Wells.
The YWCA said speaking up is a good start.
“What we did do was we came together
as a community and we acknowledged that there is work to do and that we are all responsible for that work,” said Johnson.
The YWCA is starting a new series on race and gender called, “Let’s Talk About It.” The community dialogues will be held in September, October and November at the Center for Women at 65 S. 4th St. in downtown Columbus. Dates have yet to be announced.