A while ago, I wrote a piece on what it means to be American, and I referred to the idea that Americanism is choice and courage, while finding opportunities to better one’s surroundings and communities. All beliefs I still hold to be my truth. However, with the events unfolding over the weekend I want to spend some time talking about what it means to live in the America that we currently are living within: a racist America.
Last night, white supremacists and white violence covered the campus of the University of Virginia. They walked around the Rotunda, the campus’ signature building, shouting “blood and soil,” “white lives matter” and, “we will not be replaced.”
Let’s pause quickly here. Isn’t it amazing how these protestors, these white supremacists, are crying out “blood and soil” when they themselves have never had to drop an ounce of blood to live here, or literally work on soil to provide for their families because it was the only job available to them? These same protestors are most likely the same ones who are anti-immigration. They say immigrants are stealing jobs. They call immigrants lazy. As comedian George Lopez recently said, “You can’t try to steal a job and be lazy at the same time!” These protestors and people are the perfect image of ignorance. These supremacists humiliate the white people in this country who don’t believe in the same cowardly, racist, and hateful views. They aren’t protesting for anything but attention. What is their cause? Someone please explain to me what they have the right to be angry about?
Let’s pause and reflect on some of the oppressions these protestors have not had to go through. Inspiration from my thoughts came from a thread on Twitter which summarizes my points in a better and concise manner.
I don’t remember their great grandparents being enslaved because of the law, or being robbed by the law. I don’t remember them being shot at unarmed.
I don’t remember their ancestors being hung on trees. I don’t remember their mothers and fathers living in fear that ICE will come to tear their families apart. I don’t remember them getting kicked off flights for wearing their button-down shirts and Birkenstocks because it makes passengers uncomfortable.
I don’t remember legislation being created to try and control their bodies, or having a travel ban placed on them for their religion. I don’t remember the centuries they had to go through to prove their equality in education and intellect.
You know what I do remember? Their fear. The protestors are shouting, “we will not be replaced,” and you know what they are afraid of being replaced by? They are afraid of being replaced as the only life that matters. They are afraid of being replaced as the only voice in the public arena. They are afraid of being replaced as the majority. The minority is rising and gaining our voice; a voice we had the right to fight for. A voice we use for purpose; not a voice we use solely for anger.
If a group of people of color were to march down the street carrying torches... we would be handled differently. We would see police with their riot gear immediately. We would be pushed and shoved. Police would fight against us. The media would have no problem covering the story and alluding to the idea that we are the perfect example of “home-grown terrorists.”
These protestors are domestic terrorists. The protest in Charlottesville has grown into an extreme violent brawl. A car ran into the crowd. A car. A State of Emergency has been declared in Charlottesville. This is a disgusting.
President Trump just spoke on the events, and I am disappointed, but not surprised.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” said Trump. What does this mean?! His speech was lacking. He did not say what America needs to hear. One of my favorite political commentators, Ana Navarro, said exactly what I was thinking about Trump’s address on CNN. She explained, “the same way you want to call out Islamic terrorism... you should call out white supremacist terrorism.”
President’s Trump address was wimpy, lacked truth, and frankly, he took too long to basically say nothing. He didn’t say the KKK, Nazis, or white supremacist terrorism. Call them what they are. I’ll let you be the judge of why he did not say any of the sorts. In fact, he started to highlight “America’s accomplishments” under his time as president during his time at the podium! How ridiculous and embarrassing is that!
America is far from perfect. We do not need to hear about the “great things” going on in the midst of turmoil and violence. The facts on the ground are what the president failed to talk about. The events unfolding bring a cloud of despair and grief over these states. Today was not about “the many sides,” Mr. Trump. It was about the Nazis, the KKK, the white supremacists, and your inability to address the American people. Anyone and everyone can condemn violence, but what are we really going to do about it?