We're all on one side

We're all on one side

The Miller Center stands united in opposition to “Unite the Right”

On behalf of the Governing Council of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center—a non-partisan institute specializing in the presidency and public policy—we speak in opposition to the ugly incidents of racism, hate, and violence that assaulted Charlottesville and the University. We do this together, as citizens from across the country who bring a wide range of political perspectives and professional experiences. Our membership includes executive and legislative branch alumni who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents.

We send our condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the families of the three people killed on Saturday—Berke Bates, H. Jay Cullen, and Heather Heyer—and to those who were injured.

We want to make clear that the founding credo of our nation—that all men and women are created equal—is the bedrock of our democracy. Countless Americans have died fighting for freedom and justice, at home during our ongoing quest for racial equality and on foreign battlefields. Countless others came to this country precisely because of this credo.

We firmly denounce the organizers and supporters of the “Unite the Right” rally, who were united only around hateful white supremacist and Nazi beliefs, and around the intent to provoke violence. These groups organized and initiated the assault on our town and bear responsibility for bringing hate, violence, and death to our community.

There are not “two sides” on the question of ultimate responsibility for the events in Charlottesville. We applaud leaders from both political parties who have affirmed this shared belief. 

The Miller Center takes great pride in our nonpartisan scholarship, which examines the American presidency and public policy initiatives of both political parties. We provide historical context and strive to foster enlightened civil discourse around public issues. Too often political leaders from both parties ignore the lessons of history, which makes our work more necessary than ever. We know, from a careful study of presidential history, that past presidents have responded to similar moments of profound crisis by offering comfort, leadership, and resolve—drawing bright moral boundaries and healing the nation's deep wounds.

Our nation is still waiting to see this kind of presidential leadership, in the tradition of predecessors who led us through our most trying times.

Like the University of Virginia’s founder Thomas Jefferson, we believe an educated citizenry is vital to our survival as a free people. We will persevere in our mission to offer such historical guidance to any political leaders who care to listen and to educate both policy makers and the public about the issues facing our nation.

Eugene Fife
Chair, Miller Center Governing Council

William Antholis
Director and CEO, Miller Center