OPN Sponsors Vigil in Honor of Charlottesville

OPN Sponsors Vigil in Honor of Charlottesville

The country watched in horror as videos were released from the Charlottesville white supremacist demonstration. People marching with nazi flags while carrying torches through the University of Virginia campus, was something none of us thought we would see in 2017. Such a display, of course lead to violence, three deaths, and many injuries.

As word spread, organizations throughout the country discussed having vigils nationwide. Several organizations in Oklahoma were planning vigils, and decided to work together and plan one. Oklahoma Progressive Network was one of those organizations and we were honored to have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the hundreds in attendance wanting to express their grief after these horrific events.

OPN member, Andrea Corbishley, MD was there and shared her perspective. “Charlottesville is one of my adopted hometowns. I lived there for 4 years during medical school and since moving away 13 years ago, I have gone back about every other year to visit my friends who stayed on as residents and faculty at UVA hospital. She is a first-generation Indian immigrant, he is Jewish, and they have two young children. Charlottesville is not immune to racism, but it is a progressive city (80% voted for Clinton). My friends have made a beautiful home there.” Corbishley continued, “Friday night they heard the chants of “Jews will not replace us,” and Saturday morning while trying to keep their usual routine of going to the farmers market, they could hear the slogans being chanted again. All while white supremacists walked in groups from every direction. The synagogue where their kids go to Sunday school was menaced by armed Nazis, and a couple with assault rifles was on the sidewalk outside of their home, on a quiet neighborhood street. I went to the vigil for Charlottesville at the Oklahoma State Capitol because I want the people of color in Charlottesville and around the country who were made to feel afraid to know that we stand with them in love and solidarity. I have to believe that the number of people who would seek to intimidate, harm, and oppress my friends is dwarfed by the number who would work to oppose violence and hate.”

While few have the direct connection to Charlottesville that Corbishley has, the sentiment was the same. OPN Co-Founder Kasey Greenhaw spoke at the vigil. Her speech asked those in attendance to speak out publicly against hate. “This is the time to stand up. This is the time to speak out. It is more important now than ever that we are brave, and we let them know, THEY HAVE NOT WON!”

An event where people came together in love instead of hate, and strength instead of fear, this vigil let the victims in Charlottesville know that Oklahoma City is with them.

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