On Saturday, August 12th, 2017, white nationalists gathered for a “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville. During the march, a car plowed into a group of counter protesters, killing Heather D. Heyer, a 32 year-old paralegal from Charlottesville. Heyer was known to be “a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised and was often moved to tears by the world’s injustices.”

In total, at least 34 people were wounded from this violent attack led by James Alex Fields Jr. Fields is a 20 year-old man of Maumee, Ohio who is now facing a number of charges which includes a count of second-degree murder.

The rally on Saturday was originally organized to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy’s top general, from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. The forces behind the rally ran much deeper than the removal of a statue, however. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization, right-wing extremism (including white nationalism and white supremacy) is on the rise.

President Donald Trump responded to the violent acts. “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans,” the president said. “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.”

The American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee condemns all forms of violence, hate crimes and bias attacks regardless of the religion, ethnic origin, language and place of residence of the perpetrators .Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong. It is our role to bring people together, not tear them apart. Here at APPAC, we strive to bring people of different ethnic backgrounds together. We call on all members of our constituent communities to take note of, document and report to us such instances of hate crimes, bias attacks and individual cases of discrimination. History proves that the easiest position to take in such instances – staying indifferent and uninvolved is often the worst course of action or inaction we can take as a humanity.