white supremacy

Rachel Otwell

First thing - the title of this post is not to suggest A.D. Carson won't ever be in Springfield again, but the bulk of this conversation comes from his latest visit, earlier this summer. 

Rachel Otwell

Since last weekend's events in Charlottesville, Virginia – politicians and everyday citizens across Illinois have spoken out against the violence and hateful rhetoric.

Central Illinois residents gather outside Springfield city hall.
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

About 300 people gathered near the fountains outside city hall in Springfield Sunday night. They were there to hold a vigil for racial unity in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

How should educators confront bigotry, racism and white supremacy? The incidents in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend pushed that question from history to current events.

From the scene in Charlottesville on Saturday.
A.D. Carson

A.D. Carson says he was asked by counter-protestors to speak out in response to the white-supremacist, "alt-right" and neo-Nazi organizers who had descended on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  Carson, who gained international attention for earning a Doctorate with a thesis in the form of a hip hop album, has been settling into his new home there. 

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Mark Seliger / lifeafterhate.org

Christian Picciolini used to be a neo-Nazi. He was raised by Italian immigrants in Blue Island, a Chicago suburb. He says he didn't grow up with hate ideologies at home, but as a teenager he wanted the community and sense of purpose white supremacists promised him. He went on to lead white supremacist bands and become a large part of the movement.

U of I

An effort based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign connects the past and the present in order to better understand the global history of genocide. It's called the "Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies" initiative and brings together experts from a variety of fields who research "history, literature, memory, and artistic representation of genocide and trauma."