Me here. Coming at you again with more politics. I turned 22 this past week, so I probably should have written a very neutral reflection about age and all that I have learned in the past year, but NAH. It's just that it seems like there's something crazy going down every hour in America these days, so why not write about it? It gets people riled, challenges their views, and helps me keep my opinions somewhat at bay (if a 700+ word article can be considered "at bay"). So here we go with another controversial news story that has half the country enraged and the other half shaking their head in disgust.
"Woman charged with toppling Confederate statue."
In a video posted all over the Internet, we see a mass of people chanting protests, waving signs, and using some sort of pull method to rip down a statue in Durham, North Carolina. The video shows the statue actually falling to the ground, which is followed by loud cheers of support from the group of protesters.
My first impression? FOR REAL?!
I get that racism can be a problem. I fully understand and disagree with the utter chaos that has gone down in Charlottesville. Division is a problem, and I can guarantee it's not going to get better anytime soon. But here's what I still just can't quite comprehend: how is a fallen statue going to make anything better? In New York, a plaque dedicated to Robert E. Lee is being taken down. How is that going to do anything to unite this country?
You can camp out in the streets and scream "make racists afraid again!!!!", but you're not making the racists afraid. If anything, the white supremacists are just going to light a few more torches and keep marching. The levels of hate have long grown toxic, but now it is becoming deadly - on both sides.
So back to the statue. The woman who assisted in tearing it down was arrested, as she should be. You can't just walk around cities ripping down statues; that's not how civility works. And yet, some are defending her, issuing her a "right" to defend what she believes and execute that belief in any way possible, even if it means destroying public property. Heck, if that's the case, let me find a statue that I don't like and rip it right down. If we can't even handle a little bit of concrete and bronze, how long will it be before we can't handle anything at all and everyone just goes full out crazy-mode?
We're kind of already to that point, to be quite honest, but I know it can and will get worse. Nothing President Trump says (or tweets) can stop the protests. His quest to become president and the victory that ensued have no correlation to the current craziness in America. Find me proof that Trump has created a vicious alt-left and right, and I'll consider it, but until then, I cannot and will not blame our president for the actions of both black and white Americans. This is a people problem, not a political one.
Nothing will ever justify white supremacy riots or black lives matter marches, but there's also no solution yet as to how to stop them, so stop getting pissed off at the politicians for "doing nothing." They CAN'T. No matter how many press conferences are held, state of emergencies called, or even laws put in place, the people of this country are still going to pick and choose a side, stick with it, and act upon it as they see fit. It's human nature for God's sake.
The woman who tore down that statue deserved to be arrested, and she will deserve every bit of the sentence she receives. Anger does not justify disrespect, but no one seems to get that nowadays. Ripping down a statue only makes news headlines; it doesn't change the fact that people are crazy and the protests are crazier. No one is to blame except for those who are actively partaking in the madness.
Keep tearing down your statues and burning your torches and let me know how that goes for you. Do you feel like you have truly made a difference in the fight for equality? Well, you haven't. When has screaming and violence ever helped anyone ever?