It will be hard to avoid opinions this week as we witnessed the madness of the current American political climate reach its climax in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend.
According to The Daily Signal:
One person is dead and nine are injured after a vehicle plowed through a group of people Saturday near a demonstration by self-proclaimed white nationalists who were met by counterprotesters.
Police later announced a total of 35 rally-related injuries and the names of two Virginia State Police officers killed when their helicopter went down just outside the city.
The car incident, reportedly involving a silver or gray Dodge Charger, occurred in the early afternoon during clashes involving white supremacists and members of Black Lives Matter, the self-described anti-fascist organization Antifa, and other groups.
Is it possible to find yourself stuck in the middle on this one?
Yes. Of course. Although you wouldn’t think so if you listened to the news or the current feed on whatever the social media du jour is.
What we see on the news and social media right now is a lot of people blaming Trump, a lot of people blaming conservatives and a lot of people who believe there is some sort of political capital to be earned by pretending this madness proves what they’ve predicted all along: that this violence is the culmination of the racist hatred that MUST accompany the slightest bit of support for President Trump.
That stance relies heavily on opinion and assumptions. What happens when you examine only the facts?
Some facts are unclear at this point, but here’s what we know for sure:
1.) A group of white supremacists marched in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate monument.
4.) At least one person died when a man from Ohio drove his car through a group of protestors.
There is no support in this blog for the “Alt-right”, AntiFa or Black Lives Matter. You cannot decry racism and embrace any ideology that believes one race merits respect more than others, and you cannot decry violence and then march in lock-step with groups that have literally set fire to entire cities.
The white supremacists are as moronic as the AntiFA crowd and the Black Lives Matter hooligans. They are all the same. They blindly hate people purely because they look different.
In Charlottesville the BLM crowd chanted at police that they were no different than the KKK.
From WINA –
Many of a defiant crowd were angered, most BLM advocates with some shouting “you protect the Klan, but you don’t protect us”. Others shouted the police and the Klan were the same thing.
An intriguing stance considering this photo from Charlottesville
This picture does hurt.
It hurts as bad as this picture of Colin Kaepernick kneeling behind US soldiers during the National Anthem.
It hurts as much as watching video of Reginald Denny have his face smashed rearward with a brick just because he was a white man in a black neighborhood.
It hurts as much as seeing black officers berated by black people simply because they chose a profession that enforces the law; a profession that is for some reason highly despised by certain members of the black community. You know what group of largely white men also hates the police? AntiFa and Occupy Wall Street.
It’s an interesting time in America. Frightening, really.
It becomes clear how being unwilling to take a side in the Civil War may have played out. If this were to turn to a war, what side could you possibly take?
Do you oppose the KKK? Of course. Do you oppose AntiFa and BLM? Yes, just as much.
Well, that puts you smack in the middle of this debacle.
But can we be surprised that things are boiling over when the culture that denounces “white privilege” runs headfirst into the culture that believes “white privilege” is ordained by Providence? Not really.
So, for those of us in the middle, those who do not believe white privilege is an actual thing, those of us who believe people are to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, what is there for us to do?
First, remember that social media is an impenetrable bubble. Nobody goes to Facebook for an honest dialogue; they go to have their presumptions and pre-conceived notions reaffirmed. You won’t change any minds on Facebook, but those opposed to your opinion will certainly try to twist your words to support their cause. It’s best to just ignore them. Social media changes nothing. It’s important to remember that people use social media to prop up their own narcissistic worldview where everything they say matters and where everyone they know is waiting with baited breathe to hear every though they think.
Second, turn off the news. The news only cares to be first; it does not care to be accurate, ethical or unbiased. There is a paycheck behind every block of news which means every story you hear and every word that gets read off the teleprompter is done only in conjunction with the newest sponsor’s approval. Do not get roped into thinking they are looking out for you. They don’t care about you. They care about keeping the lights on. That’s it.
The final step is to step outside. Talk to your neighbors, talk to your co-workers and get face to face with real people who have real experiences and use those opportunities to understand that ultimately we are all in this for the same thing: a peaceful, prosperous existence that is hopefully littered with too many beach vacations (no such thing) and very little conflict.
Be nice. Be patient. Be willing to listen. And as Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”