I watched in horror as the events unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is 2017 and a woman was killed on US soil standing up against Nazi’s. American white men took the streets carrying torches, giving nazi salutes, and screaming nazi chants. A black man was beaten senseless in a parking garage by some twisted amalgamation of the Klan and the Alt-Right. Our President took two days to condemn racism. When asked about condemning the actions immediately, he literally walked away from the press. This is a guy who can say whatever he wants about CEO’s, North Korea, China, and SNL. What he hates, we know about immediately. I hate white supremacy. I detest the alt-right. I am angry that a 32 year old woman was killed. I loathe all of this and so much more.
Others will have clear things to say right now. I do not. I have fear. I do not have fear of the marchers and the protestors and the weekend per se. I have fear that these people have jobs and are in society and I cannot see who they are in the midst of the daily grind.
Is a nazi a police officer pulling over my child in the night? His school counselor? The gym teacher? Our waiter? Is a leading member of the alt right reviewing my kid’s transcripts to determine if he gets to go to the college he just applied for?
We knew their numbers had grown. Additionally, we knew the hate had not gone away. I think we were aware that American youth were being radicalized by fundamental christians to become domestic terrorists. We knew all of this, but we got to see how terrifying and ugly it truly is. In Charlottesville we got to see what happens when a flag that is banned in Germany is protected free speech in the United States. In the wake of it we got to see a president and his lackeys create and defend a false equivalency between racists/supremacists and black people fighting for equality and to simply matter.
These racists have been intertwining themselves into the fabric of our nation with suits and haircuts and nice smiles while we were worries about skinheads in leather vests. They are in our police forces, our hospitals, our schools, our government, our white house, and many other places.
It is my hope that their deadly debutante ball was premature. If they were not as interwoven as they hoped to be, we can still be a nation that celebrates diversity and stands up for equality and civil rights.
Make sure the world knows this is not okay. Make sure they hear from you at the ballot and in letters to your congressmen. Let the HR departments and your bosses know that racist or sexist or transphobic behavior is not okay at work. March at a protest for equality. Become a student of history lest we become victims of a repeated patters of one of the darkest times in our world.
I know that this is not my best writing. But if I do not write something I will be paralyzed even longer. I cannot write about the normal stuff because nothing feels normal right now. This does not feel like business as usual. This feels like hell on earth.
Normal life also goes on. In an hour I have to leave for work. After work I have to take my son and my fiancee’ out to our teen/parent support night. There will be pizza for dinner. Normal life goes on in the midst of an abnormal world where hate is acceptable and standing up for ones rights and equality is given a false equivalency to racism.