This weekend, there was a series of protesters and counter-protester clashes in Charlottesville, culminating in a fatal car attack. My disjointed thoughts are organized in the post in much the same way.
Events in Charlottesville, VA
It’s hard to miss the events that happened in Virginia this past weekend. The alt-right group decided to hold a rally to protest the removal of the statue of Confederate general, Robert E Lee. Protesters and counter-protesters clashed and it turned violent. Someone decided to run his car over the counter-protesters, tragically killing one and injuring at least 35 others. What an atrocity.
After the events in Virginia, I decided to read up on their ideologies of the alt-right group because I didn’t know what it is they represent. Let’s just say I finally understood why the alt-right group is lumped with white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and hate groups like the KKK. Their ideologies are also based off similar ideas of bigotry, racism and hate. Such divisiveness has no place in our society. It is not who we are. We are better than that.
Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, couldn’t have said it any better, “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
It is very sad to me that some of these hateful ideologies are still proliferating in pockets of the population.
Looking back now, I realized I had been fortunate to grow up in a diverse environment. I attended a middle school that fully embraced and celebrated diversity and later attended a public high school with a large and diverse total student body. My formative years greatly influenced how I see people and the world around me. My interest in wanting to learn more about people and their backgrounds drives me to want to “see” the world, which in turn made me realize that people everywhere are much more alike than we are different. If we can all understand each other better, there isn’t as much to fear.
At least it wouldn’t give rise to these groups that always try to appeal to its base by making it about “us” vs “them”.
Lest we forget, we’ve got something even more powerful that we can all stand united in:
A common humanity.