By Christian Smith
A year after white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, Va., the country has seen a rise in racism, said Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
But Cullors told Cheddar's Baker Machado she is heartened by the many Americans who are confronting alt-right extremists.
"We continue to see an upsurge in racism, but we also see an upsurge in people fighting back," Cullors said Monday, adding that more women and people of color are running for office and making their voices heard.
Counter-protesters far outnumbered the few dozen alt-right demonstrators who gathered in Washington on Sunday for the "Unite the Right 2" rally on the anniversary of the Charlottesville riot. Cullors said that was a victory for Black Lives Matter and other groups trying to blunt racist forces and defend democracy.
"We're seeing so many groups ー Muslim groups, black communities, Latino immigrants, black immigrants ー joining together in this moment to stand up for our rights to say, 'this is our country too.'"
Although she said Sunday was a triumph, Cullors added there is significant work ahead.
"We still have a white supremacist in office, and we're still dealing with an administration that continues to be anti-black and anti-immigrant."
In preparation for the midterm elections this November, Black Lives Matter chapters ー specifically in the Southern and Midwest regions ー are putting their weight behind progressive candidates.
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