Because this is important. 

Photo by @wherethewomenwander

Listen, there is no natural way for me to transition into the subject of Nazis on A Beautiful Mess. I never dreamed that a day would come where I would feel a need or want to talk about a subject like this, but here we are.

In the past, we said we would never talk about politics on this blog. We said that because we truly do believe that there are good people on both party’s sides. We know them. I’m sure you do, too. And honestly—for a good part of these 10 years of blogging—I wasn’t that politically active. That’s not something I am proud of, but it’s true. But I guess age and probably these particularly political times have changed me. That said, there are many great debates to be had on political issues, and people way more qualified than us can give you better perspectives.

But honestly, I’m not really writing this because I’m more politically engaged. I’m writing this because this isn’t politics. This is something else entirely. I hope you will forgive me veering off our usual topics today, because this is really important to Emma and I.

Seeing the hate and violence in Charlottesville this past week was horrifying and so heartbreaking. Let’s set all politics and ambiguities aside and loudly say what may seem obvious: We do not condone racism, white supremacy or any version of Nazism in any way. We don’t want to live in a country like that and if there is anything we can do to make it better, let’s do it. Right? Right.

While yes, all violence is bad and shouldn’t be condoned, this isn’t worldwide news because of the violence, as horrific as it was. It’s news because of an ideology that’s been quietly growing, and organizing groups even stated they wanted to use this event to show off its support. There are currently 917 active hate groups in the United States. While Obama was in office, the largest white supremacist message board more than tripled with over 300,000 active users last reported. This is a brewing ideology that runs exactly against what we know to be the natural human inclination toward empathy and individual value—no matter your skin color, religion, or heritage.

So while it seems easy to get caught up in the political sports of this side and that side or who made what statement when, let’s first come together in our love for our fellow human being and emphatically denounce any group that tries to prevent that love.

Here are some ways you can be proactive and fight hate:

Ten Ways To Fight Hate
Don’t feel helpless. This list is full of real, simple things you can do! Last year, my neighbor said something kind of racist to me and I didn’t speak up as fully as I wish I had. Next time, I will be prepared to do better. This is something we can all do!

Teach Tolerance
As a soon-to-be mom, I am so excited to teach my children about tolerance. This is not a one-time lesson. It’s a hundred tiny lessons that you can teach your children through the years. Be intentional, it’s such a beautiful thing to teach your children.

Places to donate to support anti-racist activism in Charlottesville

Life After Hate
This is an organization started by former right-wing extremists, who work with individuals to get them to leave extremist groups through education and empathy.

4 Ways White Parents Can Support Black Parents In Times Of Injustice

*More great links here.

Please comment if you have any ideas for ways we can give, learn or support anti-racism.

We love you all. xx – Elsie + Emma

  • Thank you for posting this! I totally agree, this is no longer about politics, it’s about humanity and actively practicing both sympathy and empathy.

    My hubby and I donate to the ACLU every month. We started after the election, but honestly, should’ve been donating for a while. <3

    http://www.shannoninthecity.com/

  • I absolutely love this. It’s unbelievable the amount of hate that is going on in the world- especially the situations that we may not hear about. We just need to continue to speak up.

  • Thank you for taking a stand against hate and using your platform to do so. Stay strong.

  • Thank you, Elsie, for this post! It’s coming at that exactly right time and I am really, really happy that my favourite DiY and lifestyle blog is run by amazing and open-minded women who speak up when it comes to topics like racism and hate. Here in Germany we also have to fight xenophobia, and speaking up against people who discriminate refugees is something that I see as my civic duty. Thank you for reminding us of the necessity of that! <3

  • Thank you for standing up to injustice. I would disagree that you think you haven’t been politically active the past 10 years blogging just because you didn’t heavily participate in a system that has elected 2 presidents without a majority vote. The values and joy of making, reusing, cleaning living, and plant based diets that you share here on ABM are good for our planet, bodies, and souls. Your content is inspiring and thought provoking. It’s clear you love what you do and you love your readers. Love wins. Truth wins.

    Hate and fear are profitable.

    • https://abeautifulmess.com/wp-content/themes/a-beautiful-mess/assets/images/gravataricon.gif

      Thank you so much. And I agree, but also I do think the world is full or people and organizations doing much more important work than us. But it’s not a competition, we all have our way to contribute. It means a lot to know that all our readers know that ABM may be about lots of topics but we 1000% want it to always stand for LOVE. It’s so important. Thank you for reading.

  • Thank you for your message.
    There is more love than hate in the world but sometimes it is hard to see or find it.

  • Thank you for this. I’ve been a longtime reader (since 2009). I am a queer woman and I read your site often as a palate cleanser to calm down from all the harsh realities of our world. As a queer woman, I am strongly aware of the ways that my rights, and the rights of my sisters and brothers who are LGBTQ, people of color, women, Muslims (et al) are always under attack. However, even though I come here to escape that, it’s also very gratifying and refreshing and warm to see you use this platform to stand up for what’s right. Before the election this year, we were all in a delusional state where we were dealing in the theoretical, what “could” happen and that’s politics. Like you said, what’s happening now is way beyond mere politics. This is actually happening in our real actual lives and it is my hope that both sides of the political aisle can come together and work together to shut down this ugly faction of white supremacists who would do our people and our country irreparable harm. We have way more in common than we do in difference.

    • https://abeautifulmess.com/wp-content/themes/a-beautiful-mess/assets/images/gravataricon.gif

      Coleen, Thank you so much for your comment. It’s truly a great honor to be a kind of safe online space for you. That means more than you could know.

  • I just want to say I am very proud of you for speaking up in the face of injustice. It’s NOT easy, and so many of us struggle with it, and you’re right, this is not the time to be silent. What makes it even more so is you’re standing up and speaking out in front of a million readers, not just your neighbor. And from following your blog for about eight years, I feel that you are your sister are sweet souls, and work so hard to make everyone welcome here in your internet space. Thank you for using your platform.

  • Thank you for speaking up. I understand not wanting to delve into politics on this blog, but I’ll admit – I was disappointed that you hadn’t posted about this, and was ready to stop reading if you ladies hadn’t spoken up. I don’t mean that to sound like a petty flounce, but like you just said, this transcends politics and is about basic human decency. And if you’re lucky enough to have a platform, these words need to be said, and loudly . Thank you.

    • I agree, I was also ready to stop reading. Anyone in America not saying something publicly at this point is complicit. Great to read this post.

  • Thank you. Thank you. I don’t even know what else to say. I have checked this blog every day for eight years, and it means absolutely everything to me to see you use your platform to denounce nazism without beating around the bush or using the verbiage they’re trying to hide under. Providing examples of how to help is so crucial, as most of us with white privilege are at an utter loss of what to do. Thank you.

  • Aren’t these the craziest times? I was just planning my Halloween costume this morning (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and thought, wouldn’t it be great if more of us could have friendships like RBG and Antonin Scalia? Despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum, they put their differences aside and bonded over theater and other interests. Lately I’ve found myself shying away from people who have different political ideologies, and I realize by doing that I’m only contributing to this polarization. What we all need is to come together. Thanks so much for this post. I know you all don’t talk a lot of politics, but it’s still sort of a DIY post. Like a little moral DIY project 😉

  • This post means a lot to me. I’ve been reading your blog for over 5 years and really admire the whole ABM team. It’s a risk to your brand to take a stand like this, and it shows so much integrity that you’re willing to use your voices for good. Thank you!

  • Thanks for posting. As a Jewish woman, I never thought I’d see armed nazis with torches marching through the streets. In America. In 2017. Isn’t it amazing that you risk alienating a portion of your audience by speaking out against this? Be well and stay safe.

  • As a daughter of Mexican immigrants I thank you so much for this post. Keep shining your light ladies!!!

  • Thank you for posting this. As far as this country has come, it’s disturbing how much farther there is to go. I grew up in Toledo and remember well the day back in 2005 when the neo-nazis came marching through the streets, starting a riot. The city was practically on lockdown watching an old neighborhood go up in flames and be tear gassed by SWAT. All b/c they wanted to “demonstrate” in a POC neighborhood they weren’t even from, attacking people they had never met. It’s important to acknowledge this is still happening and to speak out against it.

  • Thank you for posting this! Although I live in Canada, we are not immune to this hate either. It’s so sad and wrong. Love you for speaking up and standing up.

  • I’m saddened that our country has taken such a turn, that hatred has a platform, and racism has reared it’s ugly head. Thank you for making a stand, and reminding us that we all have to do the same. When did “make America great again” mean going back to a time in history where people were valued based on the color of their skin? And, you’re right – this seems to be in retribution for the Obama years. How hateful, ugly, and unacceptable.

  • EXCELLENT post ladies! You are one of the few blogs that spoke up, didn’t place political blame, and most importantly…..OFFERED SOME WAYS TO HELP! Thank you for that!!

  • As a conservative (who did not got for Trump) I 100% agree that this is not about politics. This is humanity and we must be united against this kind of insidious evil. Thank you. ❤️

  • Beautiful post, thank you.

    The one comment I will make is on the word “tolerance” and what it suggests. To tolerate suggests that there is something inherently negative to “put up with”. I know this isn’t how we generally use the word or what we mean with it, but I personally have moved away from using the word tolerance. Respect, love, inclusion, friendship, all of these terms to me are better starting points 🙂

  • Good on you. Fully support & happy to see so many resources for people.

  • Thank you! I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to post this. But thank you for taking a stance for love and tolerance. It means a lot that you’re showing your humanity and speaking about something difficult.

  • Thank you for sharing! I think it is so important and adding to the list why I’ve been reading your blog for almost as long as you’ve been writing. Keep up the good fight across the pond. Your blog is an inspiration to me ever day and this article is part of that. Thank you x xxx

  • Excellent post – and well needed. I am not sure what is happening to our current times. I live in Jamaica, and we were brought up to love everyone, and to see all of this happening,, now in 2017 – it is utterly depressing! I cannot even turn on the TV to CNN or any channel apart from maybe Cooking/HGTV as I get far too depressed. We are in some strange times.

  • Thank you so much for this. We must all stand together and fight injustice! Love to you all.

  • Love, love, love that you spoke up about this! Nothing like knowing your favorite bloggers support moving forward in this difficult time 🖤.

  • Thanks for this. I follow you for years now and I was in need for some reaction.

    Ilse

  • I appreciate that you guys responded to what’s been going though it feels “too little, too late.” Almost disingenuous. You may not be politically involved in how your blog runs day in, day out but you have a sizeable platform with lots of listeners. Glad you finally spoke out, though!

    • https://abeautifulmess.com/wp-content/themes/a-beautiful-mess/assets/images/gravataricon.gif

      Kelly, you are 100% welcome to your opinion. We had our reasons for choosing today, but I don’t really feel the need to go into them unless you truly are curious, then email me (emma AT abeautifulmess DOT com)

      So although our choice to post today was intentional and we feel great about it, I did want to hop on here and say to anyone that hasn’t spoken out yet or hasn’t gotten involved for any reason it is NEVER too late to join the side of love. And I for one would welcome you.

  • I am so proud to see that my 3 favorite blogs have now broken that wall down and are willing to put humanity and kindness and … goodness over fear of losing readers for being too political. You are absolutely right, though – this is not even politics– this is right and wrong, this is being a good person. Thanks for seeing that for what it is ans uainn your platform to spread love and support. 💕

  • Thank you for speaking up and continuing to be a force for good in this world. Inspired as always by your example.

  • Thanks for saying something! It is nice to have a safe space on the internet where there are no politics, but I also think that some issues are too important to ignore. And it is up to us to stand up for what’s right.

  • I deeply appreciate you using your platform and influence to speak out about this, but even more so that you’ve included resource for people to take action against these hateful groups. I think many people, myself included, are shocked and saddened by what happened but are also at a loss of what we can do to help- you’ve provided some great ways to be involved in working against these awful, hateful ideologies.

    Thanks! <3

  • Thank you so much for using your platform to send an important message. I am raising a biracial son (half African American and half Asian) and I really appreciated the links that you included. Truly an inspiration…thank you! 💕💕

  • Racism operates in two directions, and both are bad.

    I live in Finland, Nothern Europe. Yesterday here was terrorism attack. African man attacked with knives against white women, because his religion says him to do it. He killed two woman and other six woman are now in hospital intensive care. Some men tried to stop him, but he stabbed them too and now also these men are in hospital. One of the women was pushing a stroller at the moment and now she is dead. This all happened middle of the day in city center streets.

    (I don’t mean that I hate black people (I don’t), I just brought out that fact that racism goes both ways. Sometimes people forget it. Sorry for my poor English language skills.)

    • No one is saying that situation isn’t bad (although violence committed for religious reason isn’t always racist). However, sayings ‘black people do it too!’ is a weak attempt to ignore the larger issue and feeds racist rhetoric.

  • I am moved to tears when I read these comments. I cannot believe what I am seeing here in our country. The hate and ignorance is heartbreaking. It is sobering to realize that there is so much more than I knew, but also so much hope when I see people taking a stand against the hate. Thank you to all who are speaking out.

  • Elsie, thank you for this post. When your family becomes multi-racial, you will experience difficult and new examples of how racial discrimination still persists in our culture every day. It will probably not manifest as violence, but more likely inconsiderate words or treatment. I hope you will remember to speak up when these things happen to your family. It won’t be easy, but I am not trying to worry you. You are more than prepared to be an amazing mother who can teach your children and others the values of diversity. (I am just a multiracial mother with a white mother sharing encouragement. <3)

  • Hi guys, longtime reader here. One thing you can do so support anti-racism is to use your privilege to amplify the voices of women of color and give them a space to be heard and recognized. I noticed in your Meet the Team section of the blog that most of your staff and contributing writers are white women. By hiring women of color to an already massively popular website, you can diversify your content, increase readership by catering to a larger demographic, and, most importantly, support women of color by expanding their reach and impact. I hope this is something you guys will consider as you make hiring decisions in the future. I appreciate this post, and thank you for speaking up! Thanks!

    • Thanks Eva, I’ve had the same thoughts, and I’d like to add on (while not taking away from the importance of your comment!) the suggestion of hiring, featuring, or consulting queer/LGBTQ women. I’m also a long time reader and I love the current content, but think I can speak for many women when I say how great it would feel to see myself represented. Thank you Elsie and Emma for making this statement – it’s a big first step and SO important.

    • This was my favorite comment. I have often been disappointed when this site is silent at times like these. So I was really proud to be a reader after seeing this. That being said, actions speak so much louder than words – and I think this is a wonderful, non confrontational way, to speak out on the need for diversity and how that also empowers women of color. I loved the way you phrased it, and I also add my vote to this (if there was a vote to submit hahaha)

    • https://abeautifulmess.com/wp-content/themes/a-beautiful-mess/assets/images/gravataricon.gif

      Eva, We 100% agree. If you check through our archive you’ll see that we have hired, featured, and collaborated with a few (awesome!) women of color. We recently tried to hire another gal who happened to be African American but her plate was full doing her own thing (which is awesome and we support!) so it didn’t work out.

      To be totally clear, we worked with these gals (or sought out that last one I mentioned) because they are super talented and their work is A+++. But that being said we are always totally open to pitches and resumes from anyone. Email us!

  • Thank you for this post. You’ve taken a beautiful stand. I loved your words – every single one of them.

  • i also am not very political. but in these times it is starting to seem irresponcilble i think there is never a good excuse for violence and am still reeling from the events. however i remember one of the smartest quotes i have ever heard ” the only thing needed for evil to florish is for good men to do nothing” therefore it is our duty to do something and stand-up to this evil.

  • I’m realizing as a parent, that educating my children is most powerful through my own example. And I find that teaching them to appreciate racial differences best happens when they see me befriending those of other races. I think it goes beyond being nice, courteous, etc…I need to be intentional about extending the hand of friendship outside of what is familiar and comfortable.

  • I love this. Thanks for making a statement. Who ever would have guessed that condemning Nazis would be a morally courageous action in 2017…

  • Thank you, thank you.

    I also agree with a previous comment– in the future, should your ABM team continue to grow, you could use hiring practices to make a statement of your inclusivity and celebration of diversity. It would be wonderful to see a more diverse ABM team (racially/ethnically, sexual orientation, religious, etc.).

    In love and solidarity.

  • All the love for this post! Thank you for providing resources for those who might be feeling powerless!

  • Thanks so much for sharing, guys. Like you, I’m don’t strongly follow politics. Ironically it was watching the vice news piece that showed what happened in Charlottesville that moved me to tears and inflamed me to want to stand up and do more. I imagine bringing a beautiful little non-white girl to raise in the United States will also keep this topic at the front of your minds as well. Here’s hoping that with the actions of good Americans this will be a peaceful and tolerant place to live once again. Can’t come soon enough 💙

  • I ran across your site the other day and am so glad I did. Thank you for posting this! We all need to be talking about the racism and active discrimination that simply MUST STOP! If you haven’t seen Brene Brown’s recent Facebook live stream posting, I think you’d enjoy it. She does a great job of quickly explaining privilege, why we should care, and why we should actively work to create more equity. https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown/videos/1778878652127236/

  • THANK YOU. I have been following your blog for years, and sometimes I have to admit I was a little upset when you all did not take a stand politically. I understand why you didn’t, but I think that speaking up about this is a really wonderful thing. This is much bigger and much more dangerous than a lot of people seem to realize.
    My suggestion would be to not only donate money to organizations that are working tirelessly to fight against racism and bigotry and all the other isms, but to also put our money where our mouths are. Research everything before you buy it. Spend money at stores owned by women and people of color. Support films and music and books and arts by these same people. The more representation there is of oppressed races, the better off we all are as a country.

  • I hope in stating that violence and hate are intolerable, that we remember the increase attack on police as of late is intolerable too. They really do risk so much to protect their communities. Too many families have been left without loved ones as these people are gunned down for seemingly no reason. Kindness in all its forms is so understated as of late! I think the hardest thing for us as “adults”, is we need to take a good, hard look at what we are really teaching our children by our careless deeds sometimes–I feel the core of America is at risk…and it breaks my heart.

  • This is wonderful. I am so pleased to see one of my favorite blogs speaking out against the hatred that is so terrifying right now.

    I agree with the above comments that I would be THRILLED to see diversity on the ABM team. I hope it’s something you’ll consider in the future! This is something I’m facing in my workplace as well, and representation is so important.

    Thank you so much for the resources. Because of the parenting article, I’m considering the safety pin ally box, and I hadn’t much about it before. You’re doing important work. <3

  • I agree that’s it has come to a point where it is not about differing politics, but about humanity.

  • I
    I am 71 years old and I never dreamed I would see the KKK, White Supremacists and Nazi’s become this bold. This is a shameful time in USA. No fine person would ever march with these people. How we must look to the rest of the world is heartbreaking. Good for you for standing up and writing about this

  • I have been following ABM for about 7 years, and I just want to say how meaningful I found this post to be. I admire when people utilize their platform and audience to stand up against hate and injustice, especially those who could easily continue their work and be silent. Thank you. Keep it up. xoxo

  • I’ve been following you two for so long and have very rarely posted, but THANK YOU for being so explicit here in standing on the right side of history. Thank you, too, for your concrete advice and call to action.

  • You all rock even harder for your bravery in writing this post! Thanks for speaking up, rising up and sharing your voice.

    Seriously, as an African American and well-educated professional, I experience racism on a daily basis, sad but so true. I love what Jimmy Fallon said on his view from the recent happenings….”Racism still exist and we just stand up for what is civil and kind…we can’t do this, we can’t go backward”.

    If we stay silent, it’s an approval of what’s going on. It’s important to speak out on this as ignoring it is just wrong.

    Thanks ABM for your voice.

  • I applaud that you are taking a stand and providing resources to your readers to be more politically active in their communities but I was a little put off when you wrote that you have not been “that involved” in politics because that is a thing of privilege. I understand what your point was when you wrote it and I don’t mean to cause a massive army of trolls towards me but I think it would be really great of you to have more post like this one and show your readers that even though this website is a creative place for like-minded people to unwind, you shouldn’t be afraid to spread awareness on issues that affect the entire country.

    Much love,

    Aleisha

  • I applaud any and all that stand up to say that hate and prejudice should never be tolerated. I have said it since I was young, and taught my children and now grandchild, that there is only one race, and that is the human race. We are all an important part of this worlds bigger picture. No time for petty differences. We must unite as one to be truly at peace and harmony. Thank you for your post.

  • Thank you Elsie & Emma for using your platform to speak out and provide some resources. It must be difficult to put yourselves in a vulnerable position with such a large following, but it is so so necessary! We cannot remain silent.

    I hope when you have other political or non-political views that are important to you that you share them, even if it’s scary. There may be some that disagree or are mean but the more we open ourselves up and communicate the better we learn and understand each other.

    Sending lots of love your way (and to all the other ABM readers)

    -Kel

  • Thank you for speaking up on this topic. I agree that this issue is beyond politics, and it’s important to talk about ways to combat racism and hate.

  • SO much respect you guys, thanks for having the courage to address a tough subject. <3

  • In all honesty, I’d stopped following the blog and all of you on Instagram because you hadn’t said a single thing or even acknowledged what’s going on in the world right now. And your silence – to me – meant that you either didn’t care or you were in agreement. I couldn’t, in good conscience, continue supporting a blog and individuals who couldn’t or wouldn’t use their platform to speak up.

    Thank you for finally saying something.

  • While I hate the need for this post, I love everything you have written in it. I love the lack of aggression in it much love the activeness in it.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I’ll be totally honest: Since you guys live in red states, I have been silently scared that maybe you guys were secret Trump supporters. (Eek!) I’m so happy to learn that you’re not and so happy that you posted this beautiful message on your blog. Love you guys!

  • I’m really glad to see this post here on ABM. I know that as a lifestyle, it can be a bit tricky and sticky getting political, but this goes so far beyond that.

    Teaching tolerance is NOT a one-time lesson, you are so right about that. I have an 11-year-old son and I have been talking his ear off about this all week. And he’s been acting kind of offended, like he can’t believe I would need to tell him these things, but that’s just it—I don’t want these principals and ethics to ever become ASSUMED. Like, “Well, I’m not racist and I taught my kid not to be, so I know he’s not.” Things can change! He could fall in with one wrong kid and have his mindset completely rerouted. You know how impressionable kids can be!

    I wasn’t taught tolerance by my family. They were the “we’re not racists, but…” type of people. I learned tolerance on my own, through the environment I chose outside of home, through diverse friends, through literature, and from teachers who were just absolutely amazing and liberal.

    All of this is to say I appreciate that you acknowledged that sentiment. We must keep that lesson on-going!

  • Well said, ladies. As a high school teacher gearing up to go back and trying to figure out how on earth to deal with this when it comes up in my classroom, I think you articulated this beautifully. It really comes down to teaching through actions, and I hope we all can band together to show that love does indeed trump hate.

  • Thank you. At this point, I’m not interested in following sites or brands that choose to sit out on common decency and progress for all Americans. I’m glad you are open to discuss, educate and listen. As a long-time reader, this is important and I am looking forward to more of everything.

  • I have been a blog reader for all 10 years and enjoy it daily. As an older Asian American woman, thank you for this post and also, your thoughtful comment replies.

  • Thank you so much for this beautifully-written and powerful post. An excellent example of the difference between politics and morality, all presented in a graceful yet unyielding way. Bravo.

  • Thank you for speaking out on this issue. It’s not a political issue . . . it’s a humanity issue!!!