The Future Is Up To Us
By Jason Papallo, NCCJ E-Communications and Marketing Specialist
The future is up to us.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump shocked many Americans when he said that "there's blame on both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
We, believe there is not "blame on both sides,” just one side...
The blame sits squarely on the Neo-Nazi's and White Supremacists that gathered from around our country with hate in their heart and with the sole purpose of causing violence among those who have historically been marginalized in our country.
The protestors against the planned removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee came towing guns, clubs and shields, and wearing and/or carrying swastikas and Confederate flags. Chants like "Jews will not replace us" could be heard from the streets.
The gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville resulted in multiple injuries to counter-protestors and the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. They did not come with weapons or a message of hate in tow, but in hopes of showing that most Americans value and treasure our diversity. These are everyday people that speak up against hate and continue to fight for human and civil rights for all of us.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s criticisms of Trump's response to the violence in Charlottsville noted that this method of division is something that Trump is giving weight to, while blaming the marginalized and their supporters for standing up against the face of oppression.
Our president’s rhetoric plays up the results, and further divides us rather than bring us together, but his silence on acts of hate and discrimination might be more damaging.
He has still yet to condemn the rise of Nazi and KKK culture in the name of the alt-right movement. This includes numerous violent offenses along the way, including the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the bombing of the Minnesota Mosque, the vandalization of the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, and the resurgence of the Nazi-era slogan “Blood and Soil” are all directly condemnable actions alone, and yet he has remained silent, and silence speaks.
It is past time to seek input from our current administration whose ignorance and arrogance foster global instability and hate. Our President has helped to create the conditions for the public rise in white supremacy by posing himself as passive at best, in the face of these actions. That passiveness coming from the White House sets a tone for hate to flourish. As we face it, we must also flourish.
The solutions to our global problems must come from we, the people, from everyday educators, social workers, health care workers, activists, advocates and community members. The solutions need to come from us. We must model unapologetically, non-violent leadership against hate. We partner across this great country with; the mothers and fathers, farm workers, teachers, sisters, brothers, union workers, engineers, small and large business owners, corporate leaders, and everyone who wants and believes in the values of freedom and equality.
We have systems in place that must change, and we have made progress over the years to begin eroding systems of oppression, but we must continue to move forward toward a society that is truly equitable, inclusive and just for all.
The time is now.
On Tuesday in Maryland, (R) Gov. Larry Hogan said he would push to remove the statue of historical slavery defender Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney from the grounds of their State House, following removals of memorials to Taney, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in Baltimore.
"While we cannot hide from our history, nor should we, the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history," said Hogan.
Before the events in Charlottesville he had resisted calls to move the statue of Taney at the State House, but for some like Hogan, the chaos was a sobering shard of light.
Let all of us be the systemic change we need.
Much like the cells of the human body, we are like one interconnected organism as inhabitants of Earth, and we’re all oppressed if one is. Interconnectivity must be our calling card. We must work together in the name of basic freedoms.
Until we do this, society cannot morally evolve. We must stand on the side of what’s truly right: an inclusive and just society for all.
About the National Conference for Community and Justice
Formed 1927, NCCJ is a nonprofit human relations organization that promotes inclusion and acceptance by providing education and advocacy while building communities that are respectful and just for all. Celebrating the diversity of races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations.
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