NCPH Statement in response to violence in Charlottesville
August 16, 2017
The National Council on Public History deplores the violence and hate that descended on Charlottesville, VA this past week. NCPH is a diverse organization and we condemn racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, and white nationalism unequivocally. We reject any false equivalency drawn between the promoters of these hateful ideologies and the people mobilized against them. As professional public historians, we have studied how notions of heritage are distorted to support racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, and white nationalism. We understand and condemn the uses to which that selective history can be put by those who wish to misrepresent its meaning through either explicit articulation–as with avowed white supremacists—or through the implicit refusal to acknowledge the role that white supremacy played in the creation of the US. We are stewards of complex, nuanced, and evidence-based understandings of our past and we denounce twisted, inaccurate interpretations of history that, as we saw in Charlottesville, have real and fatal consequences.