Our president’s response, or lack thereof, to white supremacy in the wake of the Charlottesville incident can be called nothing more than racial discrimination avoidance. Why Avoidance? I use that word because it encompasses many of the reasons why our country is so divided now.
By avoiding the topic of fractured race relations in this country, we have fostered an environment of hate for groups like the Neo Nazis, KKK, and other white supremacists to flourish. Not only are these groups growing in numbers, they have come out of the closet because they feel validated. Especially after the president placed those protesters and the counter protesters on the same moral plane. These are the same counter protesters who were there to let the world know they support inclusion and equal opportunity for all.
When I study the map published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who monitors hate groups and their location, I was appalled at not only the numbers of such groups, but the foundations from which they have risen. I was more surprised at the fact that many of the hate groups align with religious organizations.
As white supremacists become more emboldened, and the nation continues to turn a blind eye to the rise of hate crimes perpetrated against those most vulnerable in our society, we will not stand idly by and allow occurrences like Charlottesville to take away our rights to peaceful coexistence. Rights that people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and Heather Heyer died for.
Most of us are familiar with the Nation of Islam, of which the honorable Malcolm X was a member. But after his trip to Mecca, he separated himself from their extreme ideology. And even though I do not condone violence in the name of race, I cannot deny that I support the premise that when our nation turns a blind eye to enforcing laws that protect our African American communities, we have the right to bear arms to protect ourselves. Rights supported by the Second Amendment of our Constitution.
There is a new generation of young African Americans who are willing to take up arms to defend the communities in which we live. No longer complacent or afraid to fight for our rights, this next generation of African Americans is willing to put their lives on the line for the rights generations before them fought and died for.
Don’t get me wrong. If I can paraphrase the president, “No one hates violence more than me! No one.” I do not want to bear witness to any more bloodshed in the name of white supremacy like we saw last weekend. But if this continues, the marginalized people of color, white empathizers, those whose sexual identity is outside the rest, as well as Jews and Muslims will unite to ensure that we do not go down without a fight. That would be a sad day for our country. And I don’t want it to be our country’s defining moment.
As long as people continue to believe that discrimination is a remnant of our past and not a reflection of the present, we are placing our country in harms way. We must not allow the president to create a moral equivalent between white supremacy and those who believe in inclusion and equal opportunity. White America must stand with us and acknowledge the wrongs of our past and present. We must all come together peacefully to heal our nation’s wounds, or face the possible consequences; no matter race, religion, sexual identity, or ethnicity.