2 Months After Charlottesville: Where Are We Now?

It has been almost 2 months since the terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, and our country seems to be even more divided than it was then. Race relations appear to be on the decline, and the President has made it his mission to do everything in his power to ensure that they do not improve. For those of you who are unaware of the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, I’ll give you a brief overview. On August 11, 2017, individuals from the group “Unite The Right”, descended upon the University of Virginia in order to protest the removal of several confederate statutes there. This was unlike any protest that has been seen in modern American history. KKK members dawned polos and khakis instead of their usual robes and hoods. Nazis wore Sperry’s instead of swastikas and all carried tiki torches as they marched through the city. It was almost laughable and many did laugh up until the morning of August 12.

They arrived with assault rifles strapped to their backs, Nazi flags in hand, and hate in their hearts. They were no longer wearing polos, instead they were wearing all black clothing, with symbols of hate adorned onto them. They marched through the streets screaming racial slurs and Nazi chants. When they approached counter-protesters, they reacted violently, throwing anything they could get their hands on, attacking them with tear gas, and beating up anyone they could get their hands on. A state of emergency was declared and people were forced to leave the area. As they were leaving, one Nazi decided that he wasn’t done and drove his car into a crowd of people before backing up and driving off. One woman was killed and several others were injured.

This was an act of terror and many Americans felt as though it should be handled as such. Instead, Donald Trump stood up and claimed that there were “good people on many sides, many sides”. Never in my lifetime did I think I would hear the President of the United States of America call Nazis good people and equate their actions to those who are attempting to stop them. It is frankly one of the most un-American statements Trump has made to this day and many Americans were outraged.

Two months later and we still have the president on the wrong side of history, attacking good Americans and trying to paint them as villains. On a day when millions of Americans are without food or water he decides instead of doing something about it to tweet about the NFL and its players. He decides to call those who are fighting for their right to life and their rightful place in this country “sons of bitches” for finally having the strength and the courage to stand up for themselves and their people. Please do not mistake the protest of the National anthem as a protest of this country and those who have died for it because you see African Americans die every day for this country and died unwillingly to build it too. The story of the minority in America is a story of unrequited love. To live in a country that you love is very difficult when it can’t or won’t love you back. NFL players do not kneel because they are ungrateful or hateful but because they have a platform that they would like to use to impact positive change for themselves and their people. Athletes are not simply here for our entertainment they are not gladiators whom we own. They are people who have a right to their identity, their culture, and their lives.

African Americans are shot and killed by police officers at 2.5 times the rate of white Americans. If that does not both shock you and horrify you then you need to rethink what is important to you. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and those rights should not be impeded on simply for the color of your skin. From Charlottesville we should have learned that hate should have no place in our country because we are all Americans. The president should have learned the impact that his hateful rhetoric has on the American people.

Hopefully, Americans learn to come together and fight for the lives and rights of us all so that we may truly be the land of the free.

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