I have been thinking about what I was going to say about white nationalist rally today in Charlottesville, Virginia. They wanted to call their final event "Unite the Right" but I can tell you that their version of the right is a far cry from mine. My version of the right doesn't hate people for their political views, their lifestyle, their race or skin color, their religion, or any of the other things that cause people to hate each other. We may disagree with you on things but hatred is not involved, regardless of what some may say.
Those marching in the white nationalist parade (if that's what it was) were showing their ignorance and hatred of people of color. That's just a fact. They're the first to decry the Black Lives Matter movement yet their marches are no different, except BLM often spews hatred of police as well as disdain for whites in general.
Now one person is dead and a couple dozen more are injured and we don't know which side caused it. Was it the white nationalists - many of whom showed up in camouflage carrying their AR-15s, as if that somehow made them impressive? Or was it a member of Antifa - the far left radical group that shows up to attack people in packs then runs away?
It's amazing to me that in 2017, civil discourse is worse than it was in the 60s. Hatred abounds in these United States and at least part of it began with the prior administration's failure to properly address hatred, racism and the consequences of each. Being the first African-American President, Barack Obama was the perfect person in the perfect position to address these issues and bring people together. I believe that's one of the reasons so many white Americans voted for him. They believed he could do what no other President could do for race relations. He failed miserably.
Instead of being the Great Uniter, President Obama began his first term by dividing Americans over an incident involving someone he knew, saying that even though he didn't have all the facts of the Professor Gates incident, "the police acted stupidly." It was absolutely the wrong thing to say.
He tried to make up for it with the infamous "beer summit" at the White House but the first blow had been struck. The Trayvon Martin incident didn't help him much after he said "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon." Once again he didn't have all the facts but waded into the controversy anyway. George Zimmerman, stupid as he was, was found not guilty of murder because he was defending himself - even after Attorney General Eric Holder opened a hot line for people to call and give him any information that might incriminate Zimmerman.
Fast forward to Ferguson, Missouri, where President Obama sent Holder with a group of FBI agents to find a reason to prosecute Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. As it turned out, Brown more than earned his fate after physically assaulting Officer Wilson and trying to take his gun, then charging him in a last ditch effort to subdue him. Brown died because he assaulted a police officer. President Obama not only sent Holder but sent a three person delegation to his funeral - even though Brown was proved to be the aggressor and responsible for his own demise.
Things like this divided the country along racial lines. President Obama, the one who could have changed everything for the better, changed them for the worse because of his statements and actions. He even met with the Black Lives Matter organizers and encouraged them. And take a look at where we are today.
As much as I dislike the white nationalist movement, or the "Alt Right," as it has been tagged, is it any different than the Black Lives Matter movement? Both are extremist groups that breed hatred. And thanks to our Constitution, both have the same right to march publicly in support of their cause. So why is there a group of angry, masked and armed people opposing the white nationalists but noticeably absent from the BLM marches?
With all of the BLM activity in the last couple of years is it surprising that a white nationalist group would want to march publicly? They have done it in the past and they always get resistance but this time the resistance went a bit overboard.
I'm reading this morning that the people injured by the driver yesterday were left-wing counter protesters. So the guy behind the wheel was apparently one of the white nationalists, or at least empathised with them. This is speculation only at this point; nothing official has been publicized.
Hate filled protests solve nothing. They don't encourage positive dialogue but instead promote more hatred and division - regardless of which side you're on.
The purpose of the march yesterday is said to have been a protest of the proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. And while I disagree with the racist hatred demonstrated by most white nationalist groups, I do agree that removing historic monuments from public view is not only wrong but ridiculous. Regardless of what some may say - statues do not hurt anyone. Removing them from public view is pandering to the minority. But that's what we do in the United States. We make sure the various minorities are appeased instead of telling them to suck it up and act like educated adults.
I hope that the end of the Obama administration will bring healing to this nation - that we can move beyond the division and unite again as Americans. Unfortunately, I don't believe that's going to happen because of the rabid hatred that the left (and many on the right) has for the new President. Donald Trump may not be the best person to lead this nation right now. Or perhaps he is. Either way, he is the President right now and he is getting things done despite opposition from the left and right. Time will tell.
One thing is certain... we still live in historic times. Barack Obama was a historic first - the first African-American President. Donald Trump is a first as well - the first outsider elected President. Being an outsider draws worse resistance than being black. But that's because it's the left that is resisting. Progressives are more prone to violent protests than those on the right. Don't believe me? Take a good look at the protests of Obama's Presidency vs the protests of Trump's Presidency. It's not hard to figure out.