When I was preparing for a book event in Charlottesville last year, my mom said, “Your hometown!” It’s not where I was born or raised, and it’s not where I live, but it’s the home of my heart. I spent four wonderful years there while attending UVA, and go back every chance I get. It’s a special place in my life
So hearing about the violence and hate this weekend deeply hurt me. I was sickened to see white supremacists and Nazis waving torches on the steps of the Rotunda, to see the hate in their faces, and, worst of all, to see that people died and many others were injured as a result of this hatred.
Charlottesville isn’t a perfect place, but it’s the home of my heart. Right now, I’m feeling similar to how I felt after the Boston Marathon bombing–it’s an attack in a place I love, on values I hold dear.
My heart is with those who live in Charlottesville and saw their city shaken by bigotry, and the UVA students who will return to Grounds in this climate. I have faith that you all will stand firm on the side of love and justice and inclusion. Hate and violence have no place in the places we love, and it’s up to us to stand up for what’s right.