If you don’t know what has happened this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA (Virginia, for those of you not in America/not familiar with state abbreviations), then go do yourself a favor and do a quick Google search. Trigger warning: pictures of Nazi flags, parade of white supremacists with tiki torches, video of a car driving through a crowd of people, violence.
The events of this past weekend details how white supremacy continues to allow white people to be “respected” while they colonize and inflict violence on other people. The fact that it took Trump two days to condemn the white supremacists due to pressure…and now he’s saying there’s blame on both sides…
This past weekend was a flashback to the 40s and 50s. From the torches to the car running through the crowd, it was horrible. A North Carolina KKK leader being “glad” for the woman’s death is sickening. To all of you in shock at this past weekend…now what are you thinking? You thought that we moved past this? You thought that racism doesn’t exist (or you were aware of its presence, but ignorant of it)? What? The KKK still exists?
You think that reading all the news and watching it are too much, so you bring your attention to other things that are more pleasant to you. The fact that you can do that is a privilege. I am guilty of this. I can turn away from the news and focus on other things. However, for others, they cannot turn away from this harsh reality, as the pain and trauma they experience is something that happens on a daily basis. They, unfortunately, cannot turn away.
Racism is, unfortunately, alive and well. It just made a big statement this past weekend, with the presence of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. And with Trump as president, he just made racism all the more acceptable. His presence in the White House dismisses the voices and lives of people of color and indigenous people. I am ashamed that he represents America, when he is not even committed to representing everyone.
Let me ask you all this, something that we need to keep asking ourselves: are we respecting the voices and lives of people of color? The voices and lives of indigenous people? Are we respecting their experiences and their pain and trauma? This past weekend illustrates how these white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK members are asking for “respect,” but they are not respecting the voices and lives of people of color and indigenous people. And Trump’s statement from the BBC article I linked to earlier, “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at…the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact that they came charging…with clubs in their hands?” dismisses the voices and lives of people of color and indigenous people.
So, why should you care about these events that happened this past weekend? You think they won’t happen again? Negative. Please, please, PLEASE be vigilant and aware of what’s going on. Be mindful of the lives of people of color and indigenous people, as they are still experiencing pain and trauma from the actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK. And with Trump as president…the rise of white supremacy is only going to continue. Found this article, as Trump continues to find blame on all sides…he won’t whole-heartedly blame white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK, because they are his main form of support. He defended them. While my initial reaction was shock (and a lot of internal screaming), I am not surprised. Here we have a president that defended white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. How can we ignore this? How can we be okay with this? (it took him two days to “condemn” white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK, but it took him much less than that to call out CNN for reporting “fake news”…since when does he need to “check the facts?”)
We’ve let white supremacy get away for a long time, since the birth of this country. We can’t let it continue on any longer. It’s harmful and detrimental, especially to people of color and indigenous people. America is a nation of immigrants. Please do NOT ignore the events of this past weekend. Look out for each other and be respectful and mindful of each other. Do NOT perpetuate white supremacy.
If you’re wondering what you can do from here, here’s an ongoing list of things. Also, I encourage you to have conversations with people, not just with like-minded people, but also with people who have completely opposite views. I’m guilty of simply sticking with like-minded people, but I am trying to push myself to converse with those who do not have the same views as me.
I’m not saying that all Trump supporters are racists, but if you still support Trump even after the events this past weekend, then what is it about Trump that you are supporting? I really like to know. Maybe I don’t. Because there’s nothing good about Trump. He cannot be president if he is not committed to representing everyone and not respecting everyone.
The main takeaway from this is please do not ignore what happened this weekend.