CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte NAACP held a "Stop the Hate" rally Monday on the steps of the Little Rock Cultural Center. The organization was responding to the deadly racial protest that happened in Charlottesville, VA, over the weekend.
"We stand united as one community and one voice to let the world know that we will not be moved and we will not be shaken by racism any longer," State Senator Joel Ford said.
The message of the rally was that more love and less hate is needed in the world.
"The White Nationalists, Neo Nazis, White supremacists, and whatever other title they call themselves, have proven themselves over and over again to be the cowards that they have always been. That their fear of not being in control is displayed through hatred and division," Charlotte NAACP President Corine Mack said. "But we who know our responsibility under the human race know that love trumps hate."
About 80 people showed up at the rally. The participants are calling on local leaders to do their part when it comes to identifying hatred for other races.
"We have to call out racism when we see it," former state senator Malcolm Graham said. "We have to call it out when we hear it. We have to call it out when we feel it."
Politicians also used the rally to send a message to hate groups who want to protest in Charlotte.
"White supremacy - stay away," Ford said. "Nazis, you are not welcomed. And KKK, not today."
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts agrees. She says denying people's rights to march in Charlotte is not the goal, but says peaceful assemblies must be top priority.
"We are having conversations every day," Roberts said. "How to keep our people safe, and everybody can be included."
Many spoke at the rally, except for Mayor Roberts. The NAACP president says she didn't want Roberts' remarks to turn into a campaign speech. She also claims the mayor lacks racial understanding and sensitivity. Mack is still disturbed Roberts called the National Guard on the people protesting the Keith Lamont Scott shooting last September.
The mayor's office has not responded to those allegations.
The NAACP says it will continue to organize and educate to make sure Charlotte is the city that embraces diversity and loves all mankind.