Acts of Racism and Hate resurface in Charlottesville, VA
Why it is important for The University of Findlay to unite
By: Olivia Wile
A White Supremacy movement against the removal of the Robert E. Lee memorial snowballed into a chain of tragic events in Charlottesville, VA.
According to the Washington Post, around 250 young white males marched across the campus of the University of Virginia on Friday, August 12. Dressed in white polo shirts and khakis, the torch-carrying mob resembled a modern-day KKK.
As proud millennial, I first found out about the events in Charlottesville via twitter. I was both stunned and appalled that such outlandish acts of racism and hate had surfaced in America once again. At first, I did not believe that the images I was looking at were from 2017, but unfortunately twitter had it right this time.
The next morning, the situation worsened. Counter-protesters consisting of church groups, bystanders, and civil rights activists met protesters in Emancipation Park according to Jim Hiem of the Washington post. Rather than establishing peace, counter-protesters only elicited cries of “White lives matter! You will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!” from the mob.
To add to the tragedy, a vehicle was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. While later in the day, a state police helicopter monitoring the rally crashed killing both officers inside.
Not only does my heart hurt over the physical tragedies resulting from this riot, I am saddened by the emotional pain it has elicited as well. In my eyes, and those of many others, America has always been the land of freedom and opportunity. Therefore, I cannot rationalize why once again, some of our citizens spent energy tearing each other down, instead of standing together as a unified, accepting nation.
To make matters worse, while I, and citizens around the country, was trying to process all of the events in Charolettsville, President Donald J. Trump succeeded in fueling the fire.
The New York Times quotes Trump in a press conference the following Tuesday August, 15.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” the president stated, “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
In this statement, the President of the United states indirectly defends the acts of racism and hate. As a result, it comes as no surprise that members of Trump’s team stepped down in the following week.
CNBC reports that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, Merk CEO Kenneth Frazier, Under Armor CEO Kvin Plank, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Alliance for American Manufacturing representative Scott Paul have all resigned from Trump’s team within the past week.
Although the events in Charolettesville and response of the President are devastating, I am so thankful to go to a University that supports and encourages diversity and the equal treatment of humans of all races and ethnicities.
As America has a lot of healing to do after the events in Charolettseville, it is as important as ever for us as a campus to remain unified.