I couldn’t take my eyes off the coverage. I just happened to be watching AMJoy when the first skirmishes broke out. I took a break for a couple of hours and by the time I checked back in, the car incident had happened and they’d already declared a person dead.
I have taken to remaining fairly neutral on political issues in public. But it’s pretty easy to condemn people who 1) believe whole groups of people are inferior because of who they are and 2) resort to violence against those who disagree with them. I have another post on sexism that I postponed after the whole Charlottesville thing happened. They’re related, of course. The same group of people (white guys) are fighting feminism and immigration and rights for people of color.
I get feeling anxious, even angry, because the world around you looks different than it did 20 years ago. I get feeling anxious, even angry because you can’t find a job or lost a job and can’t make ends meet. But the way you deal with that isn’t to lash out at people who look different from you. Preserving “white heritage” isn’t going to get you your job back. That ship has sailed.
And while I might feel some empathy for folks who are struggling, I feel no empathy for those who use that struggle to justify violence. I unfollowed a couple of people on Facebook today who claimed these people were just supporting history and that we should embrace that history. These are people who clearly haven’t tried to understand that history and how symbols of the confederacy are hurtful to some, how they valorize treating other human beings as property.
I must say I wasn’t surprised at what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend. Emotions were bound to run high. I’ve seen the rhetoric of many of these white nationalist people online. Violence is just part of their language. Acting on it was just the next step. I honestly don’t know how we move forward. But I know I’ll be standing up to those who want to claim that there are groups who deserve to be hurt, to even be killed. This is not okay.