Some pretty horrible stuff went down in Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday. Horrible to the point that it makes me sad to even think or talk about it. Social media plays a big role in our lives, so it only makes sense that social media is sharing the truth about what happened. Maybe some of you aren't interested in the truth, because that's just too much for you to handle right now. I can understand that, and frankly I don't blame you. But there are also people who don't want to hear the truth for a different reason. I would imagine because it's coming from a place of guilt. These people aren't necessarily related to what happened yesterday. But maybe they know someone with racist views. Or maybe they've said something in the past that didn't represent equality.
There is a Twitter account that has been blowing up over the last 24 hours. Why? Because he is calling people out on their behaviour. And more specifically, he's calling out the people involved in the white supremacy march in Charlottesville. His Twitter handle is @YesYoureRacist, and he is literally posting pictures of those marching. He is also calling them out by name, and identifying some aspects of their lives – such as where they work. Normally, I would ask the question – is this ok? When I write about things, or even just read about events, I like to think about both sides. But, in this instance, I can't. I can't find even the smallest of arguments to support the other side in this one. It is justifiable.
If @YesYoureRacist didn't call out these people on Twitter, we wouldn't know who they are. Which means, they would go on doing these things because they haven't been held accountable. Some of the people called out on Twitter have even lost their jobs. Do I feel slightly bad about that? Maybe a bit. But then I see the face of Heather Heyer, and any feelings I had disappear. Not everyone protesting should be punished for her death, but they should be punished for spreading hate. Everyone has the right to protest, and everyone has the right to their opinions. That's something I believe in, fundamentally. But when you're protesting equality, and your opinion is that people are lesser just because of the colour of their skin, you are no longer able to hide.
While I am not going to call out those people in this post, I do strongly encourage you to check out @YesYoureRacist just to see for yourself. But that's not the only place you can find this information. It's all over Instagram as well. One of the people identified indicated that he was protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. Again, protesting is fine, but he went on to make the following statement: "the replacement of the statue will be the slow replacement of white heritage within the United States and the people who fought and defended and built their homeland.”
I have many comments towards this statement, some of which I will keep to myself. But what exactly is "white heritage"? He also indicated that the photo made him look like an angry racist, but that he isn't. If the photo doesn't make him look like an angry racist, his words certainly do. His words say to me that there is only room for white people in America. And overall, that's what the actions of the protesters say as well. I wrote an article the other day about social justice and equality in America. I was looking at it from an economic perspective. Which isn't inaccurate, but I think there is a bigger picture here. There is a problem in America. Identify it how you will. But the bottom line is that hate exists.
I've never understood hatred. I think we can all attest to times in our lives where we hated someone. It's typically personal though. You hate someone for what they did to you or a family member. And I can understand that. But what I can't understand is hating someone for being different. Or hating someone that you don't know. Or even hating an entire race, just because. This doesn't make sense to me. And it shouldn't to you either. Hate should not be something that makes sense to anyone. I am going to sign off of this post by sharing a Nelson Mandela quote. Barack Obama actually tweeted this in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. I want to leave it with this because I think it demonstrates hope.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite".