This week I was planning on presenting one of my normally styled articles- a list of fun places to go or a commentary on something relevant to college kids. But my heart is too heavy from this week’s events to write something lighthearted.
This week one of the most blatant displays of hatred in recent times happened. And it happened right here on American soil, in Charlottesville. A group of white supremacists marched openly and unashamedly through the streets, flashing Nazi symbolism and hateful signs. So proudly pushing their terroristic agenda through their hate-spewing mouths that they did not even bother to cover their faces like their predecessors. This is the time that we live in.
From childhood we have read about historic events that seemed to awful and too distant to repeat themselves. We learned about the Nazis in World War II spreading animosity like wildfire, torturing minds and bodies alike. We learned about brave Civil Rights leaders being beaten in the streets for fighting for their equality. Yet here we are, not even a century later we see the burgeoning of these two historic events being paraded through our streets, and the worst part about it is: nothing seems to happening to stop it.
I am not going to use this opportunity to point fingers at any group of people. (Although if you are one of those people who have been posting any sort of defense for this act, please reevaluate yourself and your values.) But it is important to recognize that we live in a time where hate has bled so much into our everyday lives that as a whole we cannot seem to realize its pervasiveness. This is more than politics. This is more than what side of an issue you are on. Real, threatening, disgusting, antagonism is now happening on our soil. We have to stop it. And the only way to do that? Is to come together.
Instead of taking place in carefully worded Facebook debates to defend your party, your candidate, your beliefs, take your mind and your heart to your basic human values. Every human being has the right to be safe in their home, and acts of terror like these strip that safety away from entire groups of Americans. This group of terrorists in Charlottesville are trying to deny basic human rights to millions of Americans based on their ethnicity, and we cannot let this happen. This is not the time to sit idly back and hope someone else fixes the problem. This problem is too big and it is growing too fast. It is no longer the responsibility of anyone else- it is the responsibility of each of us. We must be kinder to one another, we must protect each other from these hateful people, we must educate ourselves and others on how to combat evil political and social ideologies that lead to these displays of terrorism.
It can be hard to put your faith in anything in times like this. But if nothing else, I am choosing to put my faith in people. I believe that there are more good people than bad. And I believe that there are many more people disgusted by the horrors from Charlottesville than those defending them. But we have to stop letting our precious agendas get in the way of seeing the real problem- the lack of compassion in our society that is allowing this hate to spread to all edges of our country. This week, let people know that you love them, that you are there for them, and that you are in the fight to end this hatred. We all need a little reminder that humanity is, at its core, a unifying trait.