By Aneesa Dastgir
Over the past few weeks, America has been in turmoil. Now, that isn’t something new to me, or many others. It isn’t a new issue to America either. The events that panned out over these last few weeks have raised serious questions for the superpower country. Violence has become the norm in America. White nationalism has been revived. Hatred is seeping everywhere.
In Virginia, white nationalists gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate general, Robert E Lee. They wanted to preserve their history, apparently, the history of slavery. The General in question outright opposed giving black people the ability to vote. This is what they wanted to preserve: their deep-rooted racism and superiority complexes. However, this wasn’t the only reason for the mass violence that occurred.
As tensions rose, violence erupted. After the end of a heavy weekend, with actions continuing into the following week, we have seen the devastating effects of this protest. Three people have died, many are injured and lawsuits are being filed.
The nation has never been more divided in recent times. Heather Heyer, one of the victims from Charlottesville, is being remembered as someone who died fighting for what they believe in. There was no need for anyone to die, there was no need for violence, and yet, it all happened over the weekend.
I can tell you one thing, this will not be the last of violent far right protests. It is just the beginning of a dark road, mirroring history.
Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, declared a state of emergency amid all the frenzy. The president of the United States has made multiple statements and he believes that both sides – being the alt right and left, are to blame.
Yet, he refuses to call this debacle what it is: home grown terrorism.
Many seem surprised and outraged that Donald Trump put the blame on “many sides”. Why is there surprise when this is the same president who has, on several occasions, been selective in speaking out about terror attacks? A mosque in Minnesota this past month was bombed and he didn’t say a word.
Yet, the president was able to tweet from his POTUS account, but not his personal, when it came to a white supremacist who killed two in a racially aggravated attack. Every major terror attack in France or London was subject of a tweet from the man’s personal account. You shouldn’t be selective in terrorism atrocities.
Yet, those that have the audacity to say racism doesn’t exist, tell me: if this isn’t about race, what is it about? The Confederacy was built on slavery; it was built on superiority and racism.
The Deputy Mayor of Charlottesville, Wes Bellamy, the first black deputy mayor of the city, has received a mammoth amounts of threats.
“I get hate mail and death threats every day. I’ve been told I will be hung from this statue. I’ve been told I will be hung from the trees in this park,” he said. Senator Cory Gardner tweeted, “Mr. President, we must call evil by its name,”. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
The protest wasn’t a massive deal, you may hear some say. Yet, with that attitude, where does the line get drawn? If we allow these rallies and protests of such evil and backwards nature to continue, where can we say ‘Stop’?
On social media, many believe that there is nothing we can do. Did that attitude win World War II? No, those who lost their lives to secure us a safer future free from fascists, Nazis and extremists, acted. They fought for what they believed in. So, we must stand up for what is right.
Is this all because of Trump? Certainly not. But racism in America has never stopped existing, and Trump has enabled the alt-right and white supremacists to build themselves a platform.
The KKK still exists – in the 21st century. Where are the repercussions for groups of this nature, demonstrating their vile beliefs, and barbaric actions?
If we look at the Brown vs Board of Education case of 1954 – this landmark case gained immense rights for the black people of America. Now in 2017, 63 years later, we are seeing the hatred that once controlled the nation, come back, once again rearing its ugly head.
Every day in the news, a new story appears of cancelled protests and rallies. People from the initial protest are still getting arrested – two weeks later! The hunt is still on for many who have created violence and subjected others to assault. This is a road to darkness, plain and simple.