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Yes, white supremacy is still a thing in 2017

STAFF, kstelly@lmcexperience.com

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By now, you’re probably aware of the White Supremacist rallies and counter protests popping up in Charlottesville, Virginia as a result of the removal of several confederate statues. And for some reason, everyone’s reaction seems to be one of surprise.

Well, not everyone.

People of color knew. Historians knew. Anyone part of any historically disenfranchised group knew. But of course, you’ll always find masses 

of people in a bubble who didn’t realize “things were that bad.”

And then came President Trump’s unfortunate poorly timed response to the events in Virginia. Rather than condemning Nazis, he went the alternative route and instead blamed both sides for the chaos.

Here’s the thing, you can be open-minded and neutral about many social issues most of the time and you might even be able to persuade people to see your point of view despite their initial reluctance to do so — this is not one of those situations.  You’re either for or against white supremacy; there is no middle ground.

The fact that the president couldn’t condemn those “white nationalists” still managed to shock many notable Republicans and Democrats as well as people around the U.S. However, when you take to account the president’s past, including his family’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan, it looks to be less shocking and more expected. Also, the man is in a tough place. He cultivated and enabled this hatred and brought out the worst in these people. He couldn’t completely abandon the bigoted base that helped him win. However, he also had to acknowledge that at least some of the Nazis were bad.

But of course, many people will expunge the Trump Administration from any responsibility for what appears to be the resurgence of the Nazi party because his supporters refuse to read between the lines, or understand any type of historical context.  

For those who still think this is about statues, heritage and history rather than racism and intimidation tactics, get real. Most of these statues, 700 of them to be exact according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which went up after the civil war, reaching a peak between 1900 and the 1920s. Then during the sixties, even more statues were erected. That’s pretty late to pay homage to the losing side of the war isn’t it?

These racial tensions aren’t just in one concentrated part of the United States.

This didn’t end or begin in Charlottesville. White Nationalists are planning events in San Francisco and Berkeley and the Bay Area is a far cry from conservative places like Charlottesville. Many expect tensions to rise between rally personnel and counter protesters.

If you’re not out protesting or aiding protesters, hold you’re loved ones close and hope that something good comes out of this. Just make sure your values lie on the right side of history.

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Yes, white supremacy is still a thing in 2017