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Charlottesville protest shines light on America’s racial tensions

Zion Fitch, Videographer

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Havoc and rage erupted Saturday, August 12th, in Charlottesville, Virginia; hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and KKK members rioted in the streets with weapons chanting “take America back.”

The white supremacists faced resistance from anti-protesters and police force in Charlottesville’s streets.  According to CNN, the violent protest filled with fights and brawls left one dead and 19 others wounded. White Ohio supremacist, James Fields, drove into the counter protesters, killing 32 year-old Heather Heyer, a paralegal for the Miller Law Group.

These oppressive acts of violence do not portray America as “the land of the free,” a country of acceptance, but in today’s society, it seems like the complete opposite.

I find it despicable that a group of people could hate on another for their differences. Differences in religion, skin color, and nationality should not divide this country.  The acts of atrocity committed this past Saturday will keep this country from true unity.  

White supremacists should not justify their beliefs in preserving the white race and keeping it dominant over others. White supremacy results in hate crimes, more police shootings of unarmed blacks, and the continued belief of white superiority. These displays of violence will become accepted instead of hated. If these horrific events continue to occur, we will never reach equality.

White supremacy takes effect through underlying messages in media, beauty, and politics. Television and social media usually portrays minorities in chains or associated with some other negative connotation. Blacks typically play stereotypical roles like criminals, rappers, and athletes. African Americans do not receive the luxury of playing hero roles like Superman. Our skin completion does not match that of a hero’s. Society does not view minorities’ skin complexion and build as beautiful.

Society sees only blonde hair, a size zero waist, or blue eyes as beautiful in today’s world. This affects minority youths’ mindset and beliefs. It affects who and what they can become. Most African American children only see themselves as pro-athletes or rappers; which society loves to see.  Minorities do not chase after jobs such as anesthesiologist, lawyers, and doctors. Seen as an anomaly in to the aforementioned, minorities feel like outcasts. These stereotypes developed from white supremacy keep hate crimes and injustice alive.

Frankly, the President did not do enough to show that he did not support the white supremacists’ beliefs. The day of the riots, Trump only tweeted instead of making a statement about this incident. The President gave his reasoning for not making a statement two days later.  NBC News reported that Trump delayed his response to the actions of White supremacists because he “wanted to know all the facts.”

Waiting to “know all the facts” plays no role in the President’s delayed response. Instead of condemning the white supremacists’ actions, Trump chose to place blame on both parties of the riot.

According to NBC News, the Commander in Chief stated, “I think there is blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either,” Trump told the media.

Trump claims these riots display “a horrible moment for the country.” However, by placing blame on both sides of the protest, Trump believes that the anti-protesters should not resist the white supremacist riot. Placing blame on the anti protesters, only emboldens the white supremacists. Trump’s justification only encourages these white supremacists to continue their oppressive violence.

In today’s society, these actions cause me, as an African American, to question the progress made towards equality.  The President should not defend the cruelty of the white supremacists and a police force that barely tried to stop the violence. When immoral groups of people believe they possess the right to degrade others based on their skin color, it shows us where we lie on the road to equality.

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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Charlottesville protest shines light on America’s racial tensions