Today, we as a country witnessed what can happen when actual Nazis and white supremacist hate groups come together in a vow of solidarity. They chant racist mantras, wave intolerant signs, buy citronella candles at their local WAL*MART and light ’em up- determined to show the minorities and the Lib-Tards of this country what MIGHT they have. This might include: having members dress up in full militia gear and tout automatic weapons to show their brute force, driving a vehicle at high speeds through a crowd of pedestrians on a closed-off road, and overall existing as the most vile humans this planet has to offer….. There is a reason why NAZIS ARE ILLEGAL in Germany.
And before you say any drivel about how this rally is protected by “free speech,” let’s examine what “Free Speech” in America is…. yes, the first amendment is the FIRST for a reason: it’s inherently & uniquely AMERICAN. We can pretty much say whatever we want without fear of punishment by our government. That is, unless you do anything of the following:
- Use Hate Speech (See: Signs. Just look at the signs.)
- Incite Violence (See: Multiple arrests for violence)
- Support Terrorism (See: domestic terrorism using a vehicle as a deadly weapon)
With these factors in mind, it is easy to see how this display of bigotry and racism is anything BUT protected by free speech. At the moment of writing, 2 men have been arrested for assault and 1 for MURDER. I don’t think I can recall any other protest resulting in the actual murder of a protestor. A 32-year old woman who was standing in the street, exercising her right to counter-protest was run over by a 20-year-old white male from Ohio. He drove from Toledo to Charlottesville (an almost nine hour trek) to participate in this “Unite the Right” Rally to protect a statue of Robert E. Lee. This woman was murdered over a statue. Of a late nineteenth century Confederate General. This whole debacle is despicable and MUST be condemned.
Some of you may be wondering, “How did this happen in America in 2017?” White supremacy is not new. It has been inherited, passed down to all Americans from generation to generation. Let me give you my perspective on all this. Let’s go back to the very founding of America up to now. Historically, white men have used people of color as a means to success. They have ridden the backs of many minorities and these men have enjoyed the fruits of their labor. This is the beginning of white supremacy in the United States. The first settlers of America used the Native American’s resources without a second thought of who rightly owned them. Before we know it, Andrew Jackson enacted the “Indian Removal Act” which forced Natives off their lands during the “It-warrants-one-paragraph-in-Social-Studies-textbooks” Trail of Tears. African slaves were also being imported for the intention of complete and utter servitude. They were forced to work on plantations, in homes as maids or butlers, doing jobs they did not want to pay someone a wage for so they (the plantation owners) could keep all the profits. Why need workers when you can completely dehumanize a whole group of people and treat them like mules or garden tools? As we all know, this was all dandy in the eyes of the government until the Civil War. As the story goes- the South loses the war and slavery is done away with via Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. In the decades proceeding the Civil War, Chinese immigrants are used to build the Trans-continental Railroad- a railroad that would allow easier migration for Americans to fulfill their ideas of the American Dream. Instead of being stuck in one location due to transportation issues, this railroad gave the country new hope for the individual and the government as a whole. Unfortunately, the white populous did not believe the Chinese immigrants who slaved and died during the construction of this railroad deserved the same dream, as rampant racism destroyed lives and Chinese immigration as a whole was halted by President Arthur in 1882. Why, you ask? Chinese immigrants were blamed for decreasing wages and the downturn of the economy along the Pacific Coast. This will become a common theme.
With the “browning” of America as immigration continues and interracial relationships are more and more common with each passing day, comes a new “enemy” to pin blame on. A large community whose society’s ills are blamed upon TODAY are African-Americans…. decades after the outlawing of slavery, black communities were given more freedoms (little by little). The Civil Rights movement was a step in the right direction as it effectively dismantled legal segregation, and from the 70’s to now have done nothing but leveled the playing field (somewhat) for People of Color in America. Affirmative Action is implemented by President JFK in an executive order to force the white-supremacist-structure of society we have had since the beginning of the country to promote diversity in workplaces and universities. We have seen so much progress in this advancement for POC as black and brown faces are more visible in high-paying jobs, political positions of power, etc, etc. We even elect the first black President of the United States in 2008. Yes! Progress! I will be the first to admit- I never thought I would see a black President in my lifetime and I am proud to have cast my ballot for him TWICE in my life.
With this progress, however, came frustration. Frustration for those who feel like something is owed to them- like something has been taken away from them. Their birthright as white Americans to achieve the American Dream has been washed away in a sea of color. Those who witnessed the first American black president did not see progress, did not see a historical moment. Instead, they saw one thing. And for eight years, they had to witness this half-white/half-African man do pretty well in his role. However, to them, they refused to give credit to this president and instead harped on the fact that he was black.
Why are white men so threatened by people of color? Because historically they have ridden on the backs of people of color for centuries (as described above) and, with them instead as contemporaries, who does one have to blame for any failures? Surely not themselves. (Introspection doesn’t seem to be a strong suit for many predisposed to hateful thinking and a lack of empathy.) And with this threat, they took a page from Hitler’s playbook. Blame “the other.” They blamed the fact they cannot find a job on minorities. On immigrants. On that black president. They turned to the internet and connected with others who felt just as frustrated. Frustrated because their days of thunder had been stolen: by the brown or black kids. By their Asian coworker. By their female boss. This frustration, paired with the toxic masculinity that is also entrenched in our society, true hate was born. And here, on the world wide web- where you can say anything, be anybody – the internet bred Neo-Nazi groups, white supremacist coalitions, KKK factions, and other hate groups who found a way to blame “the other” that we saw in Virginia today. (Again, taken from another terrorist playbook- in this case, ISIS.)
With the election of real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star Donald Trump to the presidency came a renewed hope to these groups. To these brothers, fathers, cousins, neighbors, coworkers, retail workers… To these blind followers of disgusting hate, Trump was a calling card to white supremacists throughout the country. He marginalizes immigrants and minority groups as bad for the country; promising to “Make America Great Again” by eliminating such outside threats. He was the new world order come to dismantle the works and progress of the first black president. He would allow the white man to once again prosper in this white bread land. Now, I am not saying Trump is a white supremacist. Whether he is or isn’t remains to be proven. All I know is- he must come out and condemn this way of thinking and let these “men” know that this type of hate will not be tolerated in America. If he doesn’t, if WE as a nation do not, I fear we have only seen the beginning.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Martin Niemöller, Early Nazi Supporter turned Hitler Critic who was Imprisoned in camps during the Holocaust for his opposition