This whole Charlottesville thing has been really tough on me personally. As an African American, it has been difficult to put into words what I have felt over the last several days.
The sight of hundreds of white nationalists walking down the street, proudly in broad daylight is jarring. It’s jarring because it used to be that most of these individuals wanted to hide their hateful ideals from the rest of the world. That’s no longer the case. They broadcast their hate for the world to see, arguing that they are just proud to be who they are.
Let me stop here and say that everyone should be proud of who they are, regardless of race, creed, color, orientation, ethnicity, religion, hometown or anything else. Diversity isn’t a declaration that any one group is better than another. It is a declaration that the differences within each of us make all of us better. Diversity includes everyone, including white people. The reason that diversity offers opportunities for non whites is that generally, white people already have a seat at the table for every discussion. Diversity and inclusion are trying to add a variety to the opinions available.
Let’s put this out there right now - the very ideology of white supremacy is that they want to spark a race riot or race war in which all minorities, immigrants, Jews and other “undesirables” (i.e. gays, non-English speakers, non-white supremacists) are either killed or driven from the country. That’s the endgame for white supremacists. To have the president act as an apologist to them is not just disappointing as a minority - it’s life threatening. That’s why you saw the white supremacists show up with guns and body armor. They weren’t looking for a peaceful march - they came for a fight.
These groups no longer fear public shame or identification. They are emboldened. As a black man, that puts my very life in jeopardy. That is not hyperbole. That is real life. We saw last week that one man drove his car into a crowd in an act of domestic terrorism. We have seen in the past where white supremacists have tortured and killed minorities who stopped to get gas or groceries at night. If the president is going to decry the MS-13 gang (rightly, because they are a criminal gang), he should speak just as strongly against what happened last weekend, rather than blaming both sides (white supremacy groups are often funded through criminal activity as well - drug sales, robbery, human trafficking, etc.).
This is no longer about politics. This is about human decency. One side wants equality. The other wants suppression. We fought a war 150 years ago and equality won out. Are we really interested in rolling things back, because only one side wants a do-over on that.