Amidst the hate and uncertainty gripping the United States of America, in the haze of the shock some feel at the rhetoric coming from places once looked to for moral leadership there is hope, there is a faint light at the end the tunnel.
Thiry two (32) year old Heather Heyer was mowed down by a white Supremacist terrorist using ISIS tactics.
Family and friends speak to the goodness in the heart of this young lady. Friends say one of the last things she posted on her social media page were the words “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.”
Those words resonate, reverberating through the tunnels of America’s tortured racial past.
If we say nothing when evil rear its ugly head we are all complicit in its expansion.
Today it’s our neighbor, tomorrow it may be us.
The Germans were not all evil racist Nazis during the rise of Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, but they all saw Hitler and his henchmen demonize an entire group of people and they remained silent, They saw an entire group of people blamed for the ills of Germany and they said nothing.
Just over two years ago we heard the very same rhetoric about Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks and everyone who dared to stand up and demand their humanity.
We saw a Federal judge demeaned, a brave and valiant physically-challenged Journalist mocked, we saw women reduced to instruments of objectification, we heard from a presidential candidate that in times gone by people of color who dared to speak out would be taken out on stretchers, we heard juiced up throngs of white men told to knock the hell out of those other people, we heard that their legal fees would be paid.
We saw and heard much more yet despite it all America elected Donald J Trump President.
In the end, so too did the German people elect Adolph Hitler Chancellor of Germany, a move which eventually guaranteed the extinction of over six million Jewish lives and the loss of over 60 million more as it took the entire civilized world to come together to extinguish the evil of Nazism.
Leading that march were Americans, many of whom lost their lives fighting against that malignant evil.
It’s time once more for America to take a stand against bigotry, hatred, and divisiveness.
For hundreds of years, African Americans have borne the brunt of the bitter pill of Slavery, Jim Crow, and the prison Industrial complex.
They complain about the disparities in policing and the disproportionate number of blacks being killed and incarcerated across the country.
They march and hold hands, they pray and preach about the disproportionate sentences being meted out in the courts based on race.
In Housing, traffic stops, in health care, and just about every single thread of national life systemic racism lives.
Yet the vast majority of white America is untroubled by it.
Jobs do not end racism as Donald Trump maintains, it simply places it on the back burner until the next economic downturn.
The practice of blaming immigrants for America’s ills did not begin with Trump it has always been the default position of the American right.
For years the FBI has warned that neo Nazi’s were infiltrating police departments. We have seen the result of those infiltrations despite the nation’s reluctance to address them.
Racism didn’t start with Trump, let us not forget that under the Nation’s first black president Barack Obama the number of hate groups in the nation increased exponentially.
We should never forget that no president in history received the number of death threats Barack Obama received.
Let us not forget the rise of the T‑Party movement, a movement Donald Trump and Sarah Palin gave life and legitimacy to.
Let us remember that Donald Trump was one of the architects and Chief purveyor of the birther movement against President Barack Obama.
America’s national life is not characterized by the singular issue of Jobs.
People need jobs, health-care, housing, education, food and clean drinking water, clean air to breathe, safety and security, and much more.
So when you hear that all we have to do is bring back jobs simply tell them that Obama already laid the foundation for that.
Tell them that under Barack Hussein Obama America experienced its longest period of job’s growth in 75 years.
According to Politico, The economy added jobs for 75 straight months, the longest streak since 1939, and a grand total of 11.5 million jobs created.
The actual number is closer to 15 million With Obama having inherited an economy which had tanked and was the worst economy since the great depression.
At this defining moment, America can no longer look to the side out of disinterest. There are no, “those people anymore”. It’s not happening to just those troublemakers as civil rights activists were labeled by George Wallace, Bull O’Connor and others in the 60’s.
“Troublemakers” a characterization Donald Trump uses to describe morally conscious people who stood up to Nazism, white Supremacist, Alt-Right Nationalists, and Fascists.
In the same way, ISIS killers use vehicles to mow down and kill innocent people so too did James Alex Fields, Jr. kill Heather Heyer in an unquestioned act of white supremacist domestic terrorism.
There is no equivalence between ideologues who preach hate and take innocent lives and those who stand up to them.
If you fail to understand the moral difference between the two points you are on the side of the ideologues.There is no ambiguity, no gray area it’s as distinguishable as black and white.
Americans gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy to free the world from the scourge of Nazism during WW11, so too will it have to look inside in introspecting. “There are no those people anymore”, the people dying now look like you, they are you.