Let’s face it and call racist violence what it is: EVIL! Recently, one of the largest gatherings of hate groups in recent years convened in Charlottesville, Virginia in a “Unite the Right” rally to demonstrate against the removal of a monument erected in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. White supremacists, “alt right” groups and the Ku Klux Klan came together in a huge show of raucous support, many of them brandishing weapons.
Opposing them was a large contingent demonstrating AGAINST the overt racist behavior consisting of Black Lives Matter, LGBT, Jews, Muslims, and others perceived to be on the periphery of American society. It was, in fact, a very racially diverse group opposing the white supremacist haters. This is an important point, because it demonstrates that there has been growth in the United States among the white populace. Once upon a time in the past during antebellum slavery and later during the Jim Crow era, there would not have been the public outcry against white supremacy coming from a large number of whites as was witnessed during the rally. Of course, there have always been those who were vocal about injustice in America, but the numbers seem to be growing. Also growing is the number of hate groups in America. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are now 917 of them active.
An incredibly horrific incident occurred during the Charlottesville rally. A young white male, 20-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr., rammed his car into the crowd that opposed the white supremacists, killing a young white woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer. At press time, Fields is in custody and has been denied bail for this terrible deed. His mom, when contacted about the incident, said that she did not get involved with her son’s politics, and only knew that he was going to a rally that had something to do with Donald Trump. Herein lies the rub!
Hate groups have become more and more emboldened since Trump came to power. He is undoubtedly their guy. When making an initial statement about the incident, Trump said that the problems are coming from “many sides.” He refused to label it domestic terrorism, or to assign any blame to a specific group. His response was so tepid that former Ku Klux Klan head, David Duke, called him out saying “I recommend you take a good look in the mirror and remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.” This is something that most thinking Americans already know. A couple of days later Trump, no doubt after significant bi-partisan coercion, finally named the KKK, neo-Nazis, and alt-rights groups in a statement about the incident.
Trump’s belated denunciation of white supremacist groups rings hollow when you really examine who supports him. He has always played to the haters. During rallies on his campaign trail when he was vying for the presidency, he espoused violence against opponents in a number of statements. In addition, he stacked his cabinet with white supremacists, and his embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin reveals that he is less than a sympathetic or thoughtful kind of leader. Lately, his rhetoric regarding responses to a North Korean nuclear threat are anything but diplomatic. It has turned into a pissing contest, with the lives of millions of the world’s citizens being put at stake.
Ultimately, there has been somewhat of a coup of sorts in the United States. White supremacists have ascended to the White House. To be sure, the way had been paved during the eight years of the Obama presidency, when the first Black president was opposed on every front. Actually, the chickens have come home to roost. But truth be told, they were always here, they had just taken a rest!
Now, more than ever, the African American community needs to pull together and to unify with others to take America from the hands of the miscreants currently in power. There are more of us than there are of them! We must understand that division always weakens a body, but that unity, love, can strengthen it. For the Black community this means that we must finally come to terms that we can’t succeed without each other, especially since it looks like we’re moving headlong into Civil War. A luta continua.