by Reggie Fullwood
First, all Americans have the right to march or protest peacefully based on our U.S. Constitution. But the joint KKK and white supremacy groups that marched in Virginia last weekend represented the worst that America has to offer.
Of course if hate groups are going to exercise their constitutional rights to protest then anti-hate groups or individuals have the right to do the same. Unfortunately, the passions on both sides caused numerous confrontations. But hate is hate, and on white supremacist took things too far.
This coward got in his car and plowed into a crowd of anti-white supremacist protesters ultimately killing one young lady and serious injuring others.
In times of great crisis in America we often times turn to the President of the United States for words of comfort and reinforcement that things will be alright. Donald Trump once again proved that he is no leader. He also proved that these very white supremacist are important to him and a part of his base.
Some will say that this notion is ludicrous right? Well, you are wrong. The issue is not what the President said about the white supremacist actions in Virginia – it’s what he did not say that is so disturbing.
Trump said, that the events that took place in VA. were an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.” That sounds like a fairly strong statement right? Well, he went on to say that the wrongdoing was on “many sides.” He also refused to say that white supremacists, white nationalists, the KKK and other hate groups were wrong.
Several Republican Senators like Florida’s own Marco Rubio even came out much more directly and stronger than Trump. Rubio tweeted, “Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”
My favorite response was from Senator Cory Gardner, the very man that is responsible for leading Republican campaign efforts during the midterm elections next year. Gardner said via tweet, “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is,” said Winston Churchill. And the truth is that Trump does not want to come out hard against white supremacist because he knows that they are a part of his base. It’s a scary thought that someone who has been elected President of the United States refuses to directly denounce hate groups and call them out by their names.
Race relations in America continue to be wound that refuses to heal no matter how much time has passed since slavery and segregation. From police and minority community relations to candidates for President stoking in the flames of bigotry and continually reinforcing racial stereotypes, progress seems to be slowly stalling.
It’s extremely difficult to comprehend how or why we are still dealing with so many racial issues in 2017.
I asked this very question in January prior to Trump’s Inauguration, – will race relations get better or worse under a Trump administration?
I also said, “The biggest challenge that minorities will face is the fact that President Elect Trump has placated to white supremacists and those who feel that minorities have had too many gains in America. You may recall that the recurring theme is ‘Take our country back.’”
And not to toot my own horn, but I was right. Race relations seem to be getting worse under the Trump administration.
There is a reason why black folks have a love/hate relationship with America. We love the country and the opportunities that it has provided, but we resent the struggles to simply reach equality – not to have an advantage over anyone, but just to reach equilibrium.
Here is what is scary about the shootings in Charleston, SC church shooting in 2015 – the shooter was not some isolated nut. We just saw hundreds of white supremacistputting hatred and evil on display in Virginia last weekend.
James Baldwin once said, “Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is political reality.” The racial and political reality of America today is chilling – while I think most people are not racist, white supremacy seems to be on the rise. We can not ignore race.
We must embrace our differences and recognize that those differences are what make us such a great nation.
Good leaders actually lead. Donald Trump is not a good leader and in fact, he is a part of the problem. Mr. President – stand up and lead and denounce racism and white supremacy.
Zora Neale Hurston once said, “Fighting is a game where everybody is the loser.”
Signing off from Charlottesville, VA.