Terror in Charlottesville, VA: Opinion

CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists and counter protestors clash at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume most people are aware of the events of Charlottesville, VA yesterday. For those who may be unfamiliar, essentially, a white supremacy group marched down the streets and were met with several protest groups. The situation quickly devolved into riots, during which a car plowed into a group of people, killing one and injuring many, many more. These acts are detestable and should be condemned by everyone, what we saw was very much an act of domestic terrorism.

The group had a constitutional right to march the way they did: the Frist Amendment protects all forms of speech, even hate speech. While their right to demonstrate was protected, we did not have to accept their message or even acknowledge their march; that is what I wished would have happened yesterday. I wish people would have just ignored them: they would have gotten minimal media coverage, few people would have even known about it, and most importantly, no one would have gotten hurt or died.

Alas, people did pay attention, people did get involved, and people did get hurt, and even one died. So what do we do with ourselves now?

It is easy to look at yesterday’s events and say “All white people are racist,” but this is not true. A radical alt-right, white supremacy group does not represent the entire right, let alone all white people. Similarly, the opinions and actions of Black Lives Matter do not reflect those of all black people, the actions and opinions of Islamic terrorists do not represent those of all Muslims, the actions and opinions of radical feminists do not represent those of all women, and the actions and opinions of Antifa do not represent those of the entire left. To attribute what happened yesterday in Charlottesville, VA to white people in general, and to blame all white people would be irresponsible, grossly inappropriate, and counterproductive.

The violence and truly hateful speech must end. I am not limiting this to simply the white supremacists we witnessed yesterday, and I am not jumping to conclusions on who drove the car into the crowd of people. It seems likely that it was a white supremacist, but it could have been—and more likely was—someone from neither the white supremacists or counter-protestors who were present yesterday. However, the white supremacists knew the risks and the high likelihood of their march escalading to the point that it did, and they still chose to continue with their march; therefore, there is a responsibility to be taken there. Violent and hateful groups exist on both sides of the political aisle, and their irrationality seems to be getting worse as time continues. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and these neo-Nazi white supremacists are all guilty of being the cause of, or engaging in violence of some form.

The left is not taking its time blaming President Trump for what happened yesterday; to which I say, show me video proof of President Trump telling white supremacists to march in the streets. As I recall, President Trump, very eloquently stated in his Inaugural Address “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, ‘How pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.” These do not sound like the words of a man inciting white supremacy, rather they sound like words that promote unity in our country. Alas, the media, those on the far left, and “never-Trumpers” will always find fault with what President Trump does, because that is their mission. They care not for fixing what is being broken in our society, they care about blaming someone for why our society is falling apart, and that person right now is President Donald J. Trump.

In the strongest terms, I am condemning the egregious and horrendous actions and opinions of all hate groups, particularly the neo-Nazis we witnessed yesterday. I implore the rest of you, who may be reading, to look at what happened yesterday, reflect on it, and learn from it. We must better ourselves if we are to better our future. Take care to not dwell on the events too long or you risk the temptation of generalizing such contemptible acts to innocents. These acts, and all similar acts, are perpetuated by those whose view of reality is so warped that they believe superficial characteristics—such as skin tone—inherently transfer superiority. We are all Americans under the same flag in this beautiful country. We should all want our country to succeed and prosper, but we cannot do that without first recognizing our failings and learning from them. We are Americans first, it is time we begin acting like it.

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