It's appalling to think about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia this past week. It's hard to believe that the photo above was taken just a few days ago--a frighteningly close replication of dark pasts. But overall, the worst part of this ordeal was having to listen to our President, Donald Trump, speak so naively in response to it.
There is always going to be hate, darkness, in the world. That's something we can't prevent or expect not to see. So when white-nationalists began protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, I wasn't too surprised. I was hurt and saddened by it, but not surprised. This kind of hatefulness has been percolating for a while now.
What shocked me was how, despite Charlottesville being placed under a state of emergency due to white-nationalist protestors, who after chanting hateful lines turned violent against those who opposed, were not reprimanded by our President, but rather were given leniency.
I understand that mercy should be granted, even and especially to those who don't deserve it. But there is a fine line between showing mercy and condoning the behavior, and there is no room for ambiguity in these times of moral obligation.
You cannot stand in front of the country you have been (unfortunately) chosen to run, in the wake of a hate-filled rally, and speak with such ignorance about what is right and acceptable.
There is no gray area here, there is no leniency to be given, and there is not equal guilt. You were wrong to say that there were good people in that white-supremacists rally because that rally was not a good act, and good people don't participate in hateful, despicable acts. Donald Trump, your words weigh heavy with this country, yet you continue to speak with seemingly little consideration.
Your ambiguity and continued ignorance in situations like this are disappointing and frightening. I pray to God for our country, and I pray to God for you. Please, remember what is truly good and learn to make the hard decisions wisely.
All that has come to mind while writing this, and since I heard you speak out about the white-nationalist group in Charlottesville, Virginia, was a quote from To Kill A Mockingbird: "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing."
Now, for anyone who doesn't know, that scene is right after Atticus loses his court case, for which he was fighting in defense of a wrongly accused African-American man. After the judge wrongly convicts this man and Atticus starts walking out of the courtroom, people stand up as he passes. This was done as a sign of respect for the strength and courage Atticus showed by standing up and speaking up for what was right.
That is the kind of bravery and leadership our country needs right now. Not a President who tries to play both sides, but someone who will stand for what is right, even if they are defeated in the end. Someone who is respected, who is trustworthy enough to know what is right, and who possesses enough strength to do it.