White supremacists, racists and neo-Nazis need to be called out for what they are.

It is vital that we hold our governments accountable for denouncing the discriminatory, hateful and often violent actions of these groups.

Seeing Nazi flags being marched through our country's streets is extremely unsettling. We must remember what history has taught us and stand up against this hate.

While not giving undue attention to these extremist groups is important, I believe a situation like this demands a response.

Nazis were ignored and left to their business for far too long and as a result we saw humanity's darkest time.

While the context now may be different, I believe lessons learned should not be forgotten.

The size of these hateful groups doesn't matter; what matters is that they are still present and openly active in today's society, and they continue to recruit young members.

That concerns me and tells me that we are not educating our youth enough about how to choose a morally right life in a global society. It is our duty to call groups like this out. If you are silent, you are complicit.

YWCA La Crosse will not normalize racism. We will call it out and we will work to engage all in addressing racism, hate and bigotry.

Please join YWCA La Crosse in calling this incident what it is -- a lethal demonstration of extremists intent on discrimination and hate -- and work with us to heal, educate and communicate with love and respect for all.

Ruthann Schultz

La Crosse

Ruthann Schultz is executive director of YWCA La Crosse.

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