I’ve been in the ‘how do I write about this insanity’ haze since Saturday. I run a happy, honest brand about styling and interiors. I write about pillows, poufs and a baby or two. When utterly compelled I have written about social issues over the past year (I like to say ‘social’ not ‘political’ because they were never about politics). But last weekend’s insanity and this week’s reaction from our president left me speechless. Just wordless. What has happened to us?
You see, sure, I knew I would denounce ‘White Supremacy’, because DUH, IT’S WHITE SUPREMACY. The sheer fact that we even feel compelled to publicly state our opposition to it is INSANE. For the record I’m also ‘Anti-murder’, I’m not ‘Pro-Stealing’ and I would check ‘no’ in the ‘Should You Burn Your Neighbors House?’ poll. And while I’m not equating any of these acts, obviously, I thought we all agreed that certain things are repugnant and immoral, including racism.
We know these people exist but since when can they use their ‘first amendment right’ to chant publicly about it? We allowed this?? Since when did blatant racism become an accepted public social activity, and why are we so shocked that it got heated, and people were injured and killed? Since when did the first amendment protect hatred that makes others live in fear????
Typically I try hard to understand both sides as I think empathy, understanding and communication is the only way for us to progress, right? When Trump won the election I wrote a whole post calling for Trump supporters to help enlighten me/us as to why he got their vote. And after reading the 1400 comments I truly learned SO MUCH about life and politics outside of my bubble.
But this is different. The “other side”, those who gathered on Saturday, are full of hate, bigotry and racism – despite their many pseudonyms they are Neo-Nazi’s WITH TORCHES. I don’t want to understand them, I don’t want to empathize with them and I really don’t want to communicate with them. There have always been garbage-faced racists out there, we know this. The south hasn’t ever been free of its past but that’s not what is so terrifying.
What is shocking is that right now they feel permission to show their faces as they chant, as they aren’t even embarrassed or ashamed of their racism. It’s a small group of men with even smaller (ahem) microphones, but they happily demonstrated in public, a riot broke out and the most disturbing thing is how those in power reacted to it. Or didn’t.
We have clearly created a culture and society that has helped people foster these thoughts, come out from under their bridges, and feel PROUD of being a racist… IN PUBLIC. WTF???!!! They have supporters in very low and very high places that by their cheers and silence, are emboldening them.
I’ve read enough to know their general thesis and I don’t accept it as anything other than ignorant, fear-based, GARBAGE, riddled with insecurity and paranoia. In case there is confusion I’m talking about White Supremacists (or “nationalists”, same thing) this isn’t a partisan thing. Even my most conservative of family members are appalled by what has happened and the reaction to it. Perhaps this could unite us more than we think?
All I can say is that all Americans should certainly practice “tolerance” daily, but do not tolerate racism.
All Americans should treat others as equals, but know that these actions are way beneath us.
And we should all be open-minded to different political/cultural/religious views, but we should be CLOSED OFF to any blind-hatred, shut down to this insanity and no matter how ‘accepting’ we are, WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS.
Brady pointed out this theory:
The paradox of tolerance, first described by Karl Popper in 1945, is a decision theory paradox. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Popper came to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.
I feel like every day we get more and more divided, but I’m hoping that this is a subject that we can all agree on. A lot of people wanted a big change, but certainly this wasn’t the change anyone was looking for.
I’d love to hear any insight on what the best way might be to help. Sure we can donate money but I don’t really see how that will change ignorance and fear (hopefully I’m wrong). I can’t imagine any laws against hate speech or ‘public display of hate’ will be passed in the next 3 years, but if there are some proposed by congress I will campaign for them. I know it won’t stop people from being racist, but it might slow down both its growth and the pain that events like last weekend created.
I know that our society, including all us white people, are responsible for this in a way, but what do we do now to fix it??? And If I’m upset, how must many of you feel?