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NCWN Statement in Response to Charlottesville

The North Carolina Writers’ Network, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, can advocate for or against particular issues, legislation, or government action. We cannot advocate or campaign for or against candidates for office, elected officials, or political parties. We have been scrupulous in abiding by this restriction, and our membership includes—and is open to—writers who are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Partiers, Independents, and more.

We make an exception for any sort of Nazi Party. To hell with them.

The same goes for the Ku Klux Klan, Vanguard America, or any other so-called “white nationalist” or white supremacist organization. They are not political parties with valid platforms within a representative democracy. They are hate groups.

They stand against everything the Network stands for: inclusion, connection, a broad and open community, free expression, excellence of expression, creativity. They fear the multiplicity of voices we seek to encourage.

They try to intimidate. Writers try to understand. They are cowards who shun the open exchange of ideas, hiding in mobs and violence and the anonymity of the Internet. Writers open themselves to critique and argument with every word we publish. They resort to brute force. We believe in the power of words.

The board & staff of the Network issue to our members this call to action: Keep doing what you’re doing. Write as well as you can. Write to clarify, not to confuse, never to hide. Write with honesty, with sympathy when it is called for, with empathy always. Read as much as you can. Read all sorts of writers. Engage creatively with the state, nation, world, and times we live in. Explore, appreciate, and enjoy the ways in which all stories connect.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network stands with the millions of Americans who mourn the loss of innocent life this past weekend in our neighbor Virginia, and who deplore both the display of hate and those behind it. We proudly stand behind our posted Statement of Belief, “that writing is necessary both for self-expression and a healthy community, that well-written words can connect people across time and distance.” We proudly stand against all bullies who seek to silence any of the many voices that make up our community.