Recently in Dayton Ohio, the town was geared up for a mammoth demonstration of hatred – a rally was planned by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). After all of the hoopla, and an investment of $650,000 by the city of Dayton to keep the protestors and demonstrators safe, a paltry nine KKK members showed up. They were dwarfed by the protestors who numbered between 500 and 600. Business owners planted signs in their windows or in front of their doors that said, for example, “Get your Hatin’ out of Dayton,” “F**K Off,” “Eeny, Meenie, Miny Mo, Yo Racist A** Has Gots to Go,” “Yo KKK, You’re in the Wrong Hood #Eastside.”
The city spent the money because they were concerned about possible violence, since Dayton allows the open carry of weapons. They assembled more than 350 police officers and barriers and other materials to keep the protestors separated from the KKK demonstrators. In addition, during an agreement struck between the city and the KKK, the demonstrators were not allowed to wear military-style gear or to carry assault rifles, shields, bats, knives or flame throwers. They were allowed, however, to cover their faces, and if they had permits, to carry firearms.
Residents of Dayton were proud about the outcome of events. They give high marks to the city establishment for doing a great job, but they are concerned about the high costs that resulted. The outcome, however, has sent a message of hope to residents and to the rest of the country.
For one, it is doubtful that people thought there would have been such a lop-sided outcome with only nine KKK demonstrators and 500-600 protestors. Apparently, change is happening in America, and it’s not all bad. There is a time when there would have been far more KKK demonstrators than protestors, if any. So, some people think that this signals a light at the end of the racism tunnel, and that things may be getting better.
Actually, what we are witnessing is a transformation occurring over the face of the globe, with the United States being a microcosm of that change. These are crucial times, and as in all births, there is a splitting that takes place, a lining up at opposite poles in preparation for the battle that will determine the outcome of opposing priorities.
In the United States, it is no secret that there is a group of diehard racists who are emboldened to rear their ugly heads because, as said many times before, they think they have an ally in the White House.
President Donald Trump may, or may not, be a racist, depending upon who is doing the judging, but what is certain is that his policies have exacerbated a schism that is manifested in a rise in racist behavior. It is demonstrated all around the country in police misconduct and abuse against citizens, especially Black Americans. It is also seen in the absurd treatment of immigrants.
It must be pointed out, however, that the global schism is not just racial.
In the Black community, there is a widening gap between the classes, between those who are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and those who are better off; a division between the haves and the have-nots. Poorer Blacks tend to see educated and economically secure Blacks as their enemies.
So, considering the original topic: is there positive change occurring in America? The answer is hopefully, yes.
The Dayton event points out what we should all know – the white community is not monolithic; they are not all the same, and apparently a lot of them are coming to their senses in order to address the issue of race from a more sensible standpoint. They are working on themselves.
Now what remains is that the Black community moves to address the internal schism so that we can emerge unified in order to confront the external demons of racism, sexism, and classism and to ultimately unite with those outside of our community who have reached the same point of enlightenment and growth.
As for now, based on the Dayton outcome, we can chalk up one defeat for hate. A Luta Continua.