By Hakim Abdul-Ali
This past weekend, America experienced another shameful round in its continuing battle with some of its citizenry as it relates to the establishment of freedom, justice and equality for all. The menacing occasion, now sadly and tragically known to this country and the rest of the world was the alt-right movement’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to unite their forces showing opposition to having the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee taken down.
It also represented an opportunity for the group to advance the cause of “White Power.” They were opposed by an anti-racist group. The march, rally, or whatever you want to call it, was organized as a White nationalist rally which was held on last Saturday, August 12, 2017, and it ended up in utter mayhem and disastrous grief.
The event turned tragically chaotic and deadly as one anti-alt-right protesters, paralegal Heather Heyer, was killed and a reported 19 others were injured, when an alt-right maniac plowed his car into a crowd of innocent anti-racist bystanders. That set the stage for further pandemonium among the two opposing protesting groups and the police.
Also, it was made known that two members of the Virginia State Police Department died when their helicopter crashed. These officers were on patrol monitoring the rally from the air when their plane suddenly crashed.
For all of the unthinkable happenings that occurred in this picturesque small city of 48,000, where the fabled University of Virginia is located, the horrific and unspeakable events of that day signaled once again that racism is still very much alive in the USA, and that we (still) live in a divided country, separated along racial lines. It’s absolutely clear to all, except those who maybe deaf, dumb or blind, that racism, intolerance and bigotry definitely exists within our borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
As I continue, I must stop and clarify that even though the term “White nationalism” is used loosely, in essence, it is nothing but a not-so-subliminal continuation of inherent “White supremacy.” That detrimental diseased reality is prevalent in many sectors of this nation’s overall societal environments and political atmospheres, still growing like weeds.
It was in and from these explosive realities that the rally was fueled by the inbred hatreds of and inflamed by the alt-right marchers, who showed up in great numbers in Charlottesville to protest and demonstrate for their supremacist agendas. “As I See It,” today’s modernistic America, as a burgeoning society, seems to be forever in turmoil with itself, never knowing apparently what mutual respect of individual differences are and what love for all is totally about.
The notion of “White supremacy” is awkwardly growing and is very much subversively being wide spread in this country, especially among some disillusioned White youth, and there’s no longer any doubt about that, after the unimaginative happenings in Virginia last weekend, anyone can deny same. It should serve as a wake up call in every community in America, bar none to aware. A message was sent.
In some odd and reflective sense, I personally don’t see why so many of the so-called “The American People” were shocked at the volatile situation in Charlottesville. You could say that whenever racism enters the picture in this country, anything can happen, and it usually does to the bigoted negative.
In my view, whenever you get an assemblage of odd ball KKKs, alt-right fanatics, rabid neo-Nazi wannabes and just some clandestine good “ole boys” getting together in a patriotic standoff rally, anything is liable to jump off, just like what occurred in Charlottesville last weekend. I say that with no hesitation of fear other than expressing openly my understanding of the history of my and other people of color’s struggles and injustice realities. A message was sent.
America, “his-storically” speaking, has always presented an insensitive blasé-blasé cosmetic moral front, and it has practiced a not-so-undercover political version of inequality. Need I remind you that the giant of American democracy, Thomas Jefferson, a founding father of this country, was from Virginia, and he owned 600 slaves. Never forget that! Knowledge is useful.
Think about that with an open “his-storical” mind-set when trying to comprehend the fiber of what the system of American democracy is purported to be, especially if you live in a separate and unequal racist abyss. The truth may hurt, but it’s known fact that “systematic racism,” hidden within the colors of American realities, is that what occurs when institutional systematic policies, practices and political structures puts non-Whites at disadvantages in every manner or form.
Many Whites become and are upset. The alt-right protesters, many dressed in polo shirts and khaki pants and displaying their allegiance to their greater sinister causes by donning, e.g., KKK and Nazi memorabilia, etc., were on exhibition for the nation and the entire world to see that bigotry never left the landscape of hypocrisy. Continual exposure to racism does affect all ethnicities in this nation with a lasting sense of terminal dread.
Think about that. Is that a stretch, or is it a valid point? The “his-story” of America, if told factually and honestly and, if revealed for what it was and is, as in many conflicting examples, certainly can’t deny the egregious reality that this land is very much divided along facial parameters. Has been and always will be. In many ways, racism in America isn’t a distorted imaginary jolt to one’s sense of being an American if you’re of color. It’s injuriously alive, silently facing you in every way, everyday, if you’re of color.
To some contrite ethnicities, the dreamlike functioning concept of freedom, equality and justice for all is a farce to them in this society. I remind them that from employment to housing to education, etc., and if you’re of color, racism and bigotry is everywhere.
If you’re of color and were born here in this country, or even if you are originally from elsewhere, you know firsthand the difference between “hidden racism” and equal justice. If you don’t, or didn’t know, then the alt-right sponsored fiasco in Charlottesville should have opened your eyes to internalize that bigotry, sickeningly, is alive and well in the bald eagle’s domain.
With verbal attacks on Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Hispanics and unlinked others, this new vanguard of supremacist-minded bigots are like a contagious virus among us all. The alt-right’s baleful presence and unfavorable rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, was no joke. It sent a message.
Be aware! Americans of peace are you listening. I hope you are because these are some scary times we reside in. For today and always, be safe and be united in mutual respect for all Americans, no matter who they are. And, that’s “As I See It.”