Charlottesville Is Just a Reminder Racism Never Left
By: Jael Jones
So much has unfolded in the last few days, it’s hard to wrap your head around the possibility that this is not a representation of where our country is heading. The events that have unfolded in Charlottesville, VA and the following ripples are a painful eye-opening reality if not anything else. It is all just more evidence that we are no closer to a post-racial society than the race riots of the 1960s, actually, it almost seems parallel. If you are not caught up on the timeline of events, this will be a brief overview of yet another city we may have to add to the list.
Jason Kessler organized this event to “unite the right” and protest the removal of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s statue. When you say it like that it sounds harmless, but Kessler is a member of an ultra-white nationalist group, and this event happened to be the largest white supremacist event in recent history.
Every one of us has the right to the freedom of speech. However, when exercising that right happens to coincide with the gathering of known racist hate groups chanting things that are in direct opposition of the beliefs of racial groups that have been oppressed for centuries, it starts to sound a little KKK-ish. How do you go from protesting the removal of a statue to chanting things such as “white lives matter” and “blood and soil”, all while carrying torches across the University of Virginia? We are all tired of beating the dead “white lives matter” horse and “blood and soil” is a known Nazi slogan. The scariest part about it is the meaning behind it. Blood and soil represents the descent blood line of the Aryan race and the relationship they have to their “rightful” land. All over the removal of statue.
It was not a peaceful protest, a woman was killed and several injured, violent protesters drove cars into counter-demonstrators. All fueled by misled hate. And yet where was the line of armed officers dressed in war attire and riot gear? Where was the menacing line of riot shields provoking and even blocking their freedom of speech? It is just freedom of speech, right? I can go on about racial double standards but I will not.
According white nationalist Christopher Cantwell, it was to preserve white culture and he believes there will be many more to come. This is a scary reality to think that we are still fighting the same fight that our parents, grandparents and great grandparents have been fighting. The worst is to realize that not even our supposed commander in chief condemns the hate in this country, one can even go as far as to say he supports it.
I actually applaud their president, for all that he is not, he was able to unveil the ugly state our country is still in. With his own outrageous truths, he forced us to take off our rose-colored glasses and view society as it really is. I say this a lot, that maybe this will open the eyes and thoughts of those who refused to see and maybe this new era could help bring real change. Maybe one day we will be able to overcome hate with love now that it is no longer just a monster in the closet. Hate is now a full-grown nightmare that refuses to be ignored. Or it could all be just wishful thinking, who knows?