I watched Democracy Now this morning, images of confederate statues being taken down and in North Carolina, anti-racist activists kicking the fallen statue. I hear people I know in Eastern Tennessee discussing Nazi punching on Facebook, and in person at the Peace Vigil I organize someone speaks openly that she is tired of the "peace" and that we need to show our "anger." Even Cornell West, one of the most incredible scholars of our time, admits he is not a pacifist.

In Charlottesville this weekend, the violence was stark and deadly. Heather Heyer, a 32 year old paralegal committed to social justice, was murdered as a white supremacist Nazi ran her over, and many too many other activists were beaten, struck, and run into by the same Nazis.

Now is the time to remember the pacifism of Martin Luther King. Activists who oppose white supremacy need to realize that to be violent against anyone (or even to kick a statue) is not the best constructive response to the fire of hatred and violence seen in racism. When one act of violence is returned with another act of violence then we are still in the cycle of violence, the violence will never end until leaders and activists start leading in purely peaceful ways. When people kick a symbol of oppression, the result is a symbol of violence as the model of behavior with which the behavior is replaced. We have to use symbols of peace when reacting to violence, hatred, and bigotry. We have to be the role models for how the behavior needs to be.