I see a lot of people who are sickened by this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. But fewer who are angry. And far too many white friends who are surprised that this blatant hate and racism is out in the open in 2017 and “turning” violent.
If you are surprised by this, then I’m guessing you spend the majority of your days, weeks, years surrounded by people who look and live a lot like you do. That you read books and watch movies and television shows and news reports and blogs written by and told from the perspectives of people who look and live a lot like you do. Because if you spent significant time living with, listening to, and believing what black people, Jewish people, immigrants, LGBTQ and other oppressed people have been telling you about their experiences (and the actual truth of our nation’s history) then none of this would be a surprise to you. In fact, you would’ve seen it coming.
Trump campaigned on a rhetoric of bigotry, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and hate. And far too many white people – Christian white people – who strive to be good people and would never think of themselves as racists voted for him anyway. You put this man into the highest position of power and he has emboldened the overt hate and violence we are witnessing right now and that I fear will continue to escalate. The former grand wizard of the KKK, David Duke, has explicitly said white supremacists will fulfill Trump’s vision for America. And Trump is ok with this! We knew this *before* he was elected. This should not be a surprise to you.
You wanted to give him a chance. Well, this is Trump’s America. White supremacists marching down the streets shouting hate while carrying torches and swastikas and Confederate flags and assault rifles. Angry white terrorists who are terrifying and killing people in Trump’s name. Who are burning mosques. Who are terrorizing anyone who doesn’t look and act like they do.
So I’m truly curious, are you done giving him a chance now? Was the murder of a woman who was intentionally killed for PROTESTING NAZIS in 2017 America the final straw for you? Because if it wasn’t, what will it take for you to denounce not just racism, not just violence, but a president who incites it? I’m thinking that if this wasn’t enough for you to see that he is a problem, then nothing will. And that is patently wrong. I know you can’t go back and un-vote for him, but now is the time to take responsibility and publicly declare that you no longer support the man you helped elect. Your silence is speaking volumes.