I have said many times that I think America is in a bad place politically right now. But it goes much deeper than that. Especially when the political turns social. Which is what is happening right now. It’s ok to want to stay out of politics. That makes sense to me on some level. Especially when talking about foreign policy, for example. But when the issues end up on your front door, it’s hard not to take a stand in the political realm. It’s also hard to ignore when the issues are so hateful. Where am I going with this, exactly?
Well, I mentioned this in a previous article, but I would like to explore it a bit further. And that is the issue that Donald Trump is blaming the “alt left” (a Trumpism) for the violence in Charlottesville. If they had of stayed home and minded their own business, there wouldn’t have been violence is what he’s saying. He is using the argument that they were asking for it. She dressed provocatively, therefore she was asking to be sexually assaulted. That is never the case. Not in a sexual assault case, and not in this case. Yes, people are allowed to protest on both sides. I’ve said that before. And I stand by that statement. But I can’t stand by defending violence.
While not trying to diminish the actual issues, but I ask you this. Is it worse to be racist, or the fact that the President himself is defending racists? I am not saying that either is ok, but what is worse in this case? There are certain people that should be held to a higher standard than others. And I think this is a clear case of that. Trump asked the question “what about the alt-left”? Who is the “alt left” exactly, Mr. President? He went on to say “What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem? I think they do”.
Again, there’s this idea in the “free world” that you have the right to protest. And I think everyone will agree with that. But they weren’t being violent. Your protests can’t turn violent. It becomes a problem when people start to voice their concerns about those who are protesting. For example, I often see people protesting in front of the local hospital. They’re protesting abortion. They don’t think women should have the right to choose. (Just to make this post a little bit more controversial.) That’s not my belief. I believe a woman has the right to choose. But that doesn’t mean I am going to do anything about those protests. They have the right to believe what they want, and I have the right to my beliefs. They don’t have the right to become violent, and neither do I.
So yes – you can protest all you want. You can say all the bad things you believe in about people, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Or even remotely ok. The alt-right were protesting because of hate. I don’t think I can say it any more simply. And in this particular case, they turned violent. In some people, hate can fester and turn you into someone else. I’m not defending their actions, or blaming it on hate. I just think it’s one of those emotions that is hard to get away from unless you really understand where it comes from. The “alt left” on the other hand, were protesting against hate. They were saying, it’s not ok to hate someone because of the colour of their skin. It’s not ok to hate someone because they’re different.
Let me get back to Trumps statement for a moment. He also said “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.” So “alt left” folks, you are bad. You are bad because you are standing up for what you believe in. You are bad because you feel that not everyone should be white. And you are bad because you embrace differences.
Alt-right, on the other hand. You are just violent. You aren’t bad. Your beliefs are ok, but your tactics aren’t great. That’s what I’m hearing from the President. And I think that’s what a lot of people have been hearing. Or at least some version of that. Donald Trump waited 48 hours to make that statement because he was waiting on the “facts”. What more do you need? The fact is, a woman was killed during a protest. While it hasn’t been proven, it is strongly suspected that the person driving the car was a white supremacist. Those are the facts, Mr. President. But instead of condemning hate, you are embracing it.