#ThisIsNotUs Is Unquestionably The Wrong Response To Charlottesville

#ThisIsNotUs Is Unquestionably The Wrong Response To Charlottesville

The only appropriate response is outrage.
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After the disgusting and egregious display of racism, hatred and bigotry in Charlottesville this past week, a large portion of the response was a possibly well-meaning hashtag saying #ThisIsNotUS.

This is not who we are. This is not who the US is. This is simply a blip on the radar.

And, despite the objective falsity of that statement, we have to ask ourselves a question: In the face of such a horrifying demonstration fueled solely by hate, how is our first reaction to attempt to absolve this country of blame? How is our first reaction justification? How is our first reaction not outrage, anger and every other negatively-connotated synonym? How can we see Nazi and Confederate flags waving through the air in the hands of a bunch of white supremacists and not immediately condemn, not immediately voice our anger? Because first and foremost, it doesn't matter if this wasn't us in the past. Now it is.

Here's the thing: This level of hatred may be on a larger and louder scale than others in this nation, so maybe it isn't entirely ignorant to believe that, largely, this isn't us. But the overarching truth is that it absolutely, unquestionably, does not matter. Regardless of if our country, before this week, had been a wholly non-racist, peaceful nation filled with absolutely nothing but kindness, love and equality, once the white supremacists started parading our streets wielding tiki torches and chanting Nazi slogans, we lost all of that.

To say #ThisIsNotUs might be a well-meaning hashtag, but in the end, it is just people trying to

a) absolve the US as a whole of blame

b) convince themselves that this isn't the US now, or both.

Because this IS the United States. It is happening here. It doesn't matter how you contrast America pre-Nazi rally with America post-Nazi rally: This now has to be taken into consideration when defining who America is.

SEE ALSO: If Your Reaction To Charlottesville Is '#NotAllWhitePeople,' You're Part Of The Problem

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that America was not the aforementioned "wholly non-racist, peaceful nation filled with absolutely nothing but kindness, love and equality" before this happened.

This did not come out of nowhere, though it could seem so.

Regardless, regardless, of Trump's true feelings (although we could take a pretty accurate stab at what those are), his rhetoric throughout the campaign trail and in office have awoken the closeted racists and allowed them to be racist in broad daylight. It turned the anonymous, racist Twitter troll into a swastika-sporting, screaming white supremacist protestor. It turned the person who kept his opinions to himself to a person vocally supporting the rally. Trump's rhetoric has given those who felt their racist, bigoted beliefs were shameful, (or at the very least worth disaffiliating from publicly) a platform to share their views with the support of the most powerful man in the world.

Now, we won't pretend that all of our problems in this country stemmed from electing a racist, misogynist, every-negative-ist-word-you-can-think-of president into office.

The police brutality against unarmed black men and women outdates Trump's inauguration.

The wage gap between men and women, between white women and black women, between men and Hispanic men outdates Trump's inauguration.

Misogyny, racism, etc. weren't born from a Trump presidency: It just gave more merit to those who believed the systems of inequality and oppression should remain in place.

But let's go back even further. Back before what many of us haven't experienced in our lifetimes. Let's go back to slavery. Let's go back to Japanese Internment Camps. Hell, let's go back to the civil rights movement. And largely, these "blips on the radar" are the biggest problem with the widespread use of the hashtag #ThisIsNotUs: Our next generation will be taught that it was not. It will be taught the same way these other subjects were taught:

A weeklong unit on slavery, somehow majority focusing on the kindness of white people in the Underground Railroad and ending with a "things are better now" spiel.

A fleeting class period discussing Japanese Internment camps, somehow absolving the US of all blame.

A movie about Martin Luther King, Jr., focusing on the strides we have now made as a nation against racism and oppression.

All of these are more than blips on the radar. These are sonic booms on the radar. But we are taught to hear, "Ah, slavery happened but it's over now!" and "Yeah, but we all drink out of the same drinking fountain now!" And more than likely, that is what this will be, too. It'll be a 2-page spread in the middle of a history textbook, and the lesson plan will revolve around how this wasn't the United States at this time. We were a nearly entirely peaceful, non-racist nation that focused on equality and kindness, and this came out of nowhere. Never mind the other overt acts of racism happening at the time. Never mind the overtly racist comments coming from the mouth of our president. Never mind, never mind, never mind. Just a blip, right?

Using the hashtag #ThisIsNotUs is dangerous. It is the first step to this being forgotten, for this being seen as just a small piece of history that doesn't define our nation. I'm sorry, but if Nazi demonstrators with tiki torches in the street who murdered somebody... Actually, let me rephrase: If a fatal domestic terror attack (with minimal and forced condemnation from our commander in chief) doesn't define our nation, what will? We can't just ride on the coattails of giving black people and women voting rights and argue that makes us a fair, just and equal society forever. We aren't as far from separate drinking fountains as we were brought up to believe.

Unfortunately, THIS IS US.

This is the United States right now, and convincing yourself otherwise is counterproductive. Until all are willing to admit that this is less of a hashtaggable fluke and more of a demonstration of what our country is turning into, progress will not be made. Writing this off as just one fault in an otherwise perfect nation is at best not beneficial and at worst, incredibly dangerous.

This is America right now. And if you don't like that, instead of pretending that it isn't with #ThisIsNotUS, speak up. Loudly condemn the hatred you see. Admit to yourself that there is a problem, and vocally attempt to do all you can to chip away at fixing it rather than attempting to convince yourself nothing is wrong. If you truly love your country, and if you don't want this to define it, absolving it of any and all blame will do nothing, but speaking up might.

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Lenard Twitter

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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Patriotism Is More Than Putting The American Flag On Everything

Because honestly, people in other countries don't wear their flags like we do - and they still love where they live.

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Patriotism is "the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it," according to the Cambridge dictionary. Nowhere in that definition does it mention painting flags on vehicles or wearing them on our clothes is a requirement. It's not even recommended. Yet somewhere along the way, America got in its head that if you don't wear flags on your clothing at least 24 times a year, you must be committing treason or a terrorist or something.

Now I am obviously exaggerating! However, there are so many other ways to be patriotic, and it is time for 'Merica to understand that.

In order to love your country more than any others and be proud of it- AKA being patriotic- help make your country a place you should be proud of. Support things that not only benefit yourself but your children (or children in general if you don't have any of your own).

Maybe this means voting for higher taxes on yourself to improve the quality of life for others. Higher income taxes actually benefit the upper class because of write-offs, while higher sales taxes benefit the middle and lower classes. Why? Rich people buy more stuff and can't write it all off.

I know, I know, I know. This country was founded on the hatred of taxes. "Taxes are stealing." The whole bit. But taxes are a required part of life, so start thinking about how to best use them.

Universal healthcare is paid for through tax dollars. I get it- "that's socialist and we aren't a socialist country" or whatever your argument is, but hear me out... We are supposedly guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... People cannot choose if they will be healthy or not. Not having universal healthcare means not everyone is insured and can go to the doctor, which means as a country we are telling people who cannot afford those things that their lives are somehow worth less... Is that not a denial of the unalienable rights we bragged about at our country's founding?

Oh, sorry, was that off topic? In order to have patriotism, we have to have something to be proud of... If we have a country full of sick people who can't get better, should we really be proud of that?

Should we really be proud of a country who seeks to destroy our environment for finite resources instead of looking to renewable energy sources to create cleaner power- and more jobs? Should we be proud of a country that thinks of diplomacy like a business? Should we be proud of a country where diversity is avoided, and we judge those different than ourselves despite claiming to be a melting pot?

Guess what? I'm not proud. I'm tired of living in a country that claims to be the best when it is only really number one at defense spending, arms exports, natural gas output, number of people incarcerated per capita, number of fast food restaurants, number of mass shootings per year, and highest medical costs.

I'm proud of those who have fought for our freedoms, be it at war or for civil rights at home, but I am not proud of what we've done with it all. I couldn't care less about how great our country was or can be. What I care about is living in a place where we take care of one another and want everyone to succeed, not just a handful of individuals at the expense of others. Life isn't a race- someone else's success or failure should not determine if you get the health care you need.

Paint your flags all over and ignore this if you like. Call me unpatriotic- I can handle it. If the state of America right now does not bother you, go on with your inaction. But patriotism has less to do with wearing flag bathing suits, and far more to do with being a contributing member of a society that does not stand for injustices. And right now, America, there are a lot of injustices.

I am patriotic; I am proud of the accomplishments in our past. But unless we start making advances and investments in a country and society that deserves pride... I'm ashamed to think of what is to come.

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