I won’t turn back. No turning back.
Europe isn’t honoring the Hitler regime. There aren’t statutes & schools named after him. You don’t travel down Hitler Boulevard anywhere. You don’t get away with anti-semitism in this country or most anywhere in the world. But confederate celebrations (read anti-Black; anti-Semitic; bigotry) seems to be OK — even for the president, his cabinet and members of both parties. They would never say they are anti-Black, but their policies, practices and some constituents certainly are.
Charlottesville and tiki torches illuminated the hate and those who hate — from students to executives. They showed up bold and unapologetic in their beliefs. They marched, in now-Nazi lockstep, with certifiable bigots and self-proclaimed white power-brokers. Some want to say they aren’t racist, but their actions & advocacy say otherwise. Even the friends and teachers of the Charlottesville killer, now, recall that he revered Hitler. You have to wonder if they condone such hate before. Do they now? The mother of the killer stated she thought her son was, “going to a Trump” event. In essence, he was. And, given all of the isms on full display by the president and his allies, why was that ok anyway?
Confederate (read anti-Black) tributes were a not-so-subtle way to keep that history in our lexicon and in our face, as a reminder that hate once ruled this land; in essence, it still does. We became used to it, so we didn’t get consciously pained to see the monuments and drive down the boulevards. We wrote those addresses down to mail bills and letters to occupants on those streets. We visited those streets and attended the schools and office buildings named after the Confederate (read anti-Black) losers. We passed those monuments and might have taken a selfie or two, nearby. We seemed to have forgotten the significance of symbolism. We seemed to assimilate the hate. Our subconscious didn’t, though, and it festered.
Today’s condemnation of confederate symbols, and that history of hate, is important and critical and long overdue. Some are clearly harboring the ideals that, once, tried to dominate this nation through war. Folks will argue that it’s a part of our history and should be respected. Do they say that about Hitler or other evil-doers? Do we give hateful views a friends and family pass? Would you welcome the voice & philosophies of the Charleston, Charlottesville, & gas chamber killers in your heart, home, school, work place or place of worship? Would you sow or nurture seeds of hate, like we have witnessed at University’s of Missouri & Maryland or American University? There may come a time when you have to denounce a family member who is wrong and you know it in your heart. Will you be able to stand up or will you stand down and let hate win? I can’t help but wonder how the conscientious members of the families, connected by marriage or birth feel when they see a family member commit or legislate hate. I know it hurts, but not enough will take the stand that Peter Tefft did, by denouncing his killer son.
This outrage against what we witnessed in Charlottesville (and elsewhere over the years) cannot fade away; the movement must build stronger and more determined. Each atrocious act should fuel our resolve for change. Hate should never get a pass. We cannot go back, and we cannot let racists, who feel so emboldened by the White House, to replace their robes and hoods with tiki torches take us back.
I/We should not allow anyone hold an elected office, which we can elect, try to appease the new confederacy (aka alt-right; neo-Nazi; KKK; etc.). We shouldn’t do business with companies who choose to affiliate with hate. We shouldn’t shop with companies that fund and endorse (with their contributions and messages) hate.
Tell presidents, advisors, business owners, faith leaders & family members that you are not regurgitating the bile this nation once heartily swallowed as good. Why are ANY elected officials fearful of losing the support of racists? Do they secretly harbor similar views? Why are companies financing fascism? A new generation of hate must not be allowed to take root through benign rebuke from people in power. Existing roots must be uprooted and not be fertilized by rhetoric, or winks and nods — no matter how powerful those winks & nods may be.
We will not go back to re-live in a place in time that should have never existed — and the hate was NEVER great. Choose your side: Right OR Left — NOT alt-right — that is racism. Fact OR Fiction — NOT alt-facts — those are lies. Choose the right side of of justice — it should be nonpartisan. Follow the facts — and reject lies. No politician or party should feed us misinformation or condone injustice and hate — even if its from within its own party.
It’s a new day and each of us must be committed to a better future, with racial equity, justice, safety and security for all — if we really want it to be so. Vote at the ballot box. Vote with your wallet. Vote with your feet. Vote with your social media. Vote with your voice.
For me, I won’t go back. No turning back. What about you? Ase!