I saw a clip of people marching in Charlottesville, chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” and it made me freeze in terror. The alt-right demonstrators and neo-Nazis frighten me to my core. The argument that there were “good people” at the rally is totally unfounded, and here’s why: If I were so inclined to go to a political rally, I would only go if the message meant something to me. It doesn’t make sense that a good or a “fine person” would march alongside neo-Nazis. Where is the logic in that argument?
Everyone came from somewhere else, and many of us are descendants of various cultural backgrounds. Outwardly, I’m white, but I’m also a mutt.
On my father’s side, I am a descendant of Mennonites and French Huguenots. The Mennonites are Anabaptists who came to America to escape religious persecution; my ancestors received a land grant from William Penn, who invited these persecuted groups to come to Pennsylvania where they could practice their faith freely. Mennonites are pacifists who are against slavery and anything that harms another person.
On my mother’s side, I have Sephardic Jewish ancestry and I can trace my family back to roughly the 1800s in Jamaica before they came to America.
On both sides of my family, there are many parts of humanity linked together which have led to my being here, and I am grateful. Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Jamaica, Africa– I am learning more every day.
I have friends from many walks of life whose backgrounds are just as varied as mine. So, I’m so angered and frightened by these “alt-right rallies.” Everyone should be. All I can think about are my close friends who aren’t white: They’re African American, Haitian, mixed.
The other day, I saw a disgusting comment on the Internet; a woman had written in very graphic terms that she condoned murdering Muslims.
What the hell kind of a world are we living in?
I also read somewhere that, statistically speaking, white people don’t see as many of the race issues that we currently have in this country. Many are blind to their own white privilege. Outwardly, I’m white, and I have that white privilege; I don’t have to worry about racial profiling. But I do see it everywhere. I choose to open my eyes and acknowledge its presence. I will not wear blinders.
Whether intended or not, the recent comments of the president have given neo-Nazis and white supremacists the “permission” they wanted. Now they feel it’s okay for them to express their abhorrent beliefs.
These people are racist, homophobic, and there are a lot of them out there who continually deny the Holocaust ever happened.
I believe in freedom of speech. But I don’t believe in the freedom to spout hate speech; that’s something else entirely, and it shouldn’t have a place in this country.
I wanted to post this because I don’t want to stay silent. I want my friends to know that I will stand beside them and protect them. Racism has no place in this country, and I will do whatever I can to protect those I love and care about.