Anyone that knows me will not expect many comments from me on political or social issues. It isn’t that I do not care or that I do not keep up with what is going on. I am just usually busy marketing community projects and my own business and keep my political views to myself. This week I do not feel that I have the option to keep going with business as usual. This week has shown us something more horrible than anything I could ever imagine happening in the United States. This week something has happened that requires every American, every Human to stand up and say “NO!” to.
Last weekend people calling themselves the Alt Right, White Nationalists, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists, Aryan Nation, etc. gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia under the guise of protesting the removal of a Confederate statue with their hate-filled chants, violence and horror. One of those people decided to drive their car into a crowd of people with the intention of hurting as many as possible. One young woman was killed and many more were injured.
You would think that would be the worst of it. You would think that all our leaders would put aside their differences and come together to assure the country that this is not acceptable. Our leaders would stand together and assure us that the evil that showed up that day was not welcome here and all that is possible would be done to protect the country from this evil. Assure the world that this is not representative of what is in America at its heart. For the most part, that did happen. Until we got to the President of the United States.
Our President, the leader of the free world, the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, stood in front of the cameras and told us that there was violence on both sides. He told us that the counter-protesters brought clubs to the protest and implied that “they started it”. He even went so far as to say that there were some “very fine” people on both sides. ……….. Let that sink in for a moment. Very fine people marching under swastikas and confederate flags. Very fine people carrying torches and chanting hateful rhetoric. Very fine?????!!
So here I am. What can one person do? Many would say nothing. I’ve been told by some that there isn’t anything you can do about it so just ignore it. I just can’t. Not this.
So here I am standing up and saying “NO! THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!” America was founded by immigrants. America went through a long and bloody history to learn that equality has no color.
Perhaps the good people of America have become complacent. Perhaps we have looked the other way too often when confronted with the ugliness of racism and hate. We cannot do that anymore.
Stand Against Hate! Do so in your own way but step outside the comfort zone and stand up. I pledge to Stand Against Hate when I see it. I pledge to show everyone that I will not participate or ignore hateful rhetoric. Do not allow the hate to become comfortable. Do not fight hate with hate. But do not allow people to get away with posting or saying or doing hateful racist things. Force them back into the shadows.
It probably will not be long before something else is making the headlines. The issue will still be there. The hatemongers will still be there. We need to stay vigilant. I am usually one of the first to say focus on the positive in your life and uplift the world around you. And yes, we should do that. We also owe it to humanity to stay vigilant and keep the evil at bay.
Click here to add Stand Against Hate to your profile picture on Twitter or Facebook.
There are many other ways to stand up against hate. Consider donating to organizations that protect our liberties such as ACLU or organizations that work to identify hate groups such as Southern Poverty Law Center. If you cannot afford to donate show your support on your social media. Speak out when you see hate. Contact your representatives in government and make it clear that you will only vote for people that stand firmly against hate. Tell them you will not vote for people that do not call out those in power that support hate.
For quick reference here is a link to the directory of the House of Representatives with their phone numbers. https://www.house.gov/representatives/
Here is a link to the directory of the Senate with phone numbers. https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/