It's Not "Just a Statue": What the Charlottesville Riots can help us learn
If you have your wits about you, the Charlottesville riots are a lesson right in your face: racism is not dead. It’s alive and well (and if you have your wits about you, you knew that already).
White supremacists have gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue (which by the way has not been removed yet). The Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and other racist, white assholes showed up in droves. An innocent woman, Heather Heyer (part of the anti-white-nationalist protest) was killed when a supremacist drove his vehicle into the crowd.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing parts of this all is how short Trump’s response fell. Did he condemn violence? Yes, great. Did he call it what it was? No. Instead, he said it was coming from “many sides”. That’s the leader of the supposed free world.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">David Duke now here in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/charlottesville?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#charlottesville</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/altright?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#altright</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/unitetheright?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#unitetheright</a> rally <a href="https://twitter.com/USATODAY?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USATODAY</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/RbtKing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RbtKing</a> <a href="https://t.co/au69sTiTlR">pic.twitter.com/au69sTiTlR</a></p>— Mykal McEldowney (@mykalmphoto) <a href="https://twitter.com/mykalmphoto/status/896387613157974018?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 12, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The ex-leader of the KKK, David Duke, cited Donald Trump as his inspiration for being there. He was at a right-wing, Neo-Nazi, anti-black, anti-diversity rally because he believes that’s what Trump would want him to do. Let that sink in for a second. Even if that’s not what Trump would want, it poses a massive problem.
It’s not just a statue.
Confederate symbols litter the United States. From buildings named after confederate generals to flags and street names- the confederate legacy is still very much alive. Robert E. Lee (of the statue in question) was the general of the Northern Virginia Army…aka the largest faction of the Confederate Army.
The part of America who fought to enslave black people and keep them enslaved is celebrated every day. How is this huge part of the population supposed to feel safe let alone respected in a country that continues to insist on celebrating these injustices?
It’s not just a statue.
Now more than ever- peace, love & history.