Lest We Forget…

Lest We Forget…

Our hearts go out to the family of Heather Heyer who was killed and 19 others who were injured in last weekend’s horrific terrorist attack. In order to understand what happened in Charlottesville, VA, we have to go far back in time.

Bill Moyers, the noted journalist, produced a video on Inauguration Day that is still relevant and a must-see for everyone in America. He opens by reminding us that, lest we forget, Donald Trump rose to power on the wings of a dark lie – the Birther lie.

In a riveting, rational, intelligent discussion, four prominent historians are filmed by Moyers as they dissect the lie to help us truly understand how we arrived at this point. Neo-Nazis, KKK, and White Supremacists marched in Charlottesville with torches, baseball bats and long weapons to “take their country back.” Violent clashes ensued. A member of a White Supremacist group used a car as a lethal weapon to mow down the crowd, killing Heather — a 32-year old paralegal, someone’s daughter, friend, co-worker — and wounding 19 other peaceful counter-protesters. Make no mistake about it: This was an act of domestic terrorism.

For a long time, I resisted the notion that a significant number of Americans believed in white supremacy. However, now that Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and other alt-right groups have been emboldened by electing their “leader,” they loudly and openly say and do what they feel. As one historian said in the video, “Donald Trump did us a favor because he shows us how active and significant white supremacy is in this nation.”

The 23-minute video click here features:
Chris Lebron, Political Philosopher, Yale University
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Historian, Harvard Kennedy School
Philip Klinkner, Political Scientist, Hamilton College
Nell Painter, Historian, Princeton University

They describe more than a century of white dominance in America to show how slavery, the 3/5 clause, the Civil War, the Jim Crow era, Goldwater, Wallace, Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” (and more) all led to absolute panic for many white Americans when Barack Obama won the White House. The decades of lies have fueled profound fear that Trump successfully lassoed and rode to victory. White Supremacists (a large part of his base) think his Presidency is their best chance to stop the country from being taken over by the browns, blacks, Muslims, Jews and gays, who are surely responsible for everything that is going wrong and return America to its rightful owners. So they are roused to take action. Sadly, Charlottesville is likely just the first of many such events.

This is a wake-up call. America must deal with race and its original sin in order to survive. We have to face the lie about “white superiority” that millions of people believe, to their core. And we must unite to rid our country of groups that choose to hate others. We can’t ever forget that we are the majority. We, the people of America who believe in equality for all, must speak up and speak out against this terrible evil.

Because of WOW Dems, I am hopeful. It is comforting to be surrounded by good people of all races, religions, genders, creeds, and sexual preferences, who reject the lies, embrace the values “dreamed of” at America’s inception, and work to make this a more perfect union. If we can accept and appreciate all people for who they are, surely others can too.

Please watch the video and then share it with others. We need all the people we can reach to be knowledgeable and to understand the depth of the problem of racism in this country. We must lead others in having open and honest conversations about race in America. Support a vigil or event this weekend to show your opposition to White Supremacy and hatred. See details on the upcoming Dallas Rally here. Write or call your local, state, and congressional Representatives and insist they respond to the Charlottesville terrorist attack with specific actions that help eliminate racism, sexism, religious intolerance and xenophobia.

Under our current President, we’ve seen a rise in the number of hate groups and hate crimes. He uses the bully pulpit and sends out constant dog whistles to encourage and support the alt-right. This is not going to be easy, but we are up to it. Together we can say “no to hatred” and make America better! Our children and grandchildren are depending on us.

Hazel Weathers

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