Wajahat Ali is an author, attorney and son of Pakistani immigrants. He believes that what happened this week in Charlottesville is a crucial turning point in our country.

And it's that moment when, as an American, you have to take a stance.

"Growing up, all of us always said, 'Ah, if it was World War II, we would do the right thing,'" Ali says. "'Oh, if there's a crisis, we would be the hero. If anything went down, we would step up and be the protagonist of the narrative.' This is that moment. This is that turning point. This is that crisis."

Ali shared his thoughts on this week, the president's response and recommendations for how to talk about racism.

Listen to the full interview with The World's Marco Werman above.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI