It's 2017, let's be better: 6 Takeaways from Charlottesville
What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia is inexcusable, reprehensible and absolutely disgusting. There is no way around that. This is 2017, we should be better.
A white nationalist rally comprised of Ku Klux Klan and Neo-nazi buttholes turned violent and deadly. A 32-year-old women was killed after being rammed by an idiot in a vehicle. A dozen or so more were injured.
What you will hear from the echo chamber of some media outlets is that racial tension is worse than ever. I touched on that in a previous column I wrote about the media. Read that here.
I stand by what I said that racism is not worse than it was when segregation, slavery or lynchings were happening. However, it is alive and well by many including the racist groups like these idiots. That is sad.
What is worse than ever is the political divide in this country. We hear insults like libtard, snowflake, bigot and other banter used to describe the left and right whether it is true or not.
One of my favorite quotes is from Ellen Degeneres, “If you take away the labels, you realize we’re far more alike than we are different.”
That brings me to my first takeaway from all of this…
Don’t Feed Into The Agenda
When it comes to hate groups including the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church or Neo-nazis, deal with them the same way as you should other bullies…ignore them as much as you can. They were marching around being idiots. Stay inside and don’t give them the satisfaction. Laugh them off. You can’t fix stupid.
I believe in what Dr. Martin Luther King said fully.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Unless they are picketing a funeral of someone you are trying to mourn or something extreme like that, laugh it off. No good will come from getting riled up. I can promise you that.
This seems silly to compare, but when I was in college, I had multiple people ready to square up with me (either I trolled them or talked shit back to them playing a sport). Know how many times a punch got thrown at me? Zero! I would laugh it off and not feed into it. People that beat their chest tend to be the ones who are least likely to do anything.
After the protests turned violent, lifelong asshole David Duke spun the narrative and blamed those who opposed the “protest” for why it turned violent.
While sane and logical people know he is full of shit, all it is doing is fueling the narrative for the rest of the bigots.
Sometimes walking away is the better option. Let the idiots bury themselves.
Like the great George Carlin said, “Fighting for Peace is like Fucking for Virginity.” I firmly believe fighting violence with violence is counter productive in many cases. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary, but what were people really going to gain by arguing with bigots.
Freedom of Speech
As ugly as the idiots yelling “blood and soil” are, it is protected by the First Amendment. For those who are unfamiliar with blood and soil, it was an old nazi chant that basically is in support of eugenics or ethnic cleansing.
Contrary to popular belief, hate speech is not unconstitutional because in a democratic society, it is filtered through the marketplace of ideas. By allowing public discussion on these ideas, we can filter right from wrong as a society. Granted, some people still can’t see obvious right from wrong if it smacked them in the face.
The latest Supreme Court case of Matal v Tam unanimously ruled in favor of free speech. Lead singer of a band known as “The Slants” fought for eight years against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after being denied right to the name. They deemed it offensive to Asians. Ironically, Tam is Asian.
Another famous example, notice which NFL team still holds their name? The Washington Redskins.
No matter how hateful. No matter how offensive. It is protected under the First Amendment.
In all honesty, do we want to live in a society where we can get arrested for saying things that are nasty? I want to really ponder that for a minute.
Because if we lived in a society where you could be arrested for “hate speech,” just go read through Twitter or the comments on an article. All these keyboard warriors would be in serious trouble whether they mean it or not. I want you to think about that, especially if you have children.
If 17-year-old Connor tweets (as a joke) to his black or white friend and says something like “oh it must be hard being black/white, sucks to suck,” it can be deemed offensive language to someone. Guess who is going to jail?
The White House Has Administered No Condemnation or Response
I will steal one from Donald Trump and I can’t believe I am actually defending him, but fake news man. News outlets and celebrities like JK Rowling ripped him on Twitter for not responding.
Maybe he did not give you the response you wanted, but he did in fact say how wrong the acts were and responded.
People are spinning the “all sides” part a little too much. As I said in the beginning, what is the point of fighting if you have nothing to gain?
Any time someone has wanted to throw a punch at me, it’s real easy to avoid. Just ask them what is there to gain if you beat me down? You think that makes you a man or better person? So be it, it shows you have a lack of self control. Even if you do “kick my ass,” I won’t lose any sleep over it. Violence is violence and it shouldn’t come to that EVER. But we live in a political world full of egos and power hungry douche canoes.
The other side of this people are forgetting is the fact that Trump is by no means a politician. Chances are what he says won’t be perfect in times like this.
Feeding Into The Trump Narrative
I have been waiting for something like this to happen. Not because I want it to because what happened was awful. But, this event is exactly what the Trump campaign was ran on. It was filled with hateful remarks. It was filled with controversial remarks. It was how he got elected.
Now David Duke is out there feeding into the narrative by saying he is carrying out what Trump started.
I am not even going to get into the remarks of what Duke said because he is irrelevant. I am not about to give him the time of day.
I think Paul Ryan said it best. Duke is a repugnant. He doesn’t deserve the satisfaction of having his message put out there. No one (at least with half a brain) is taking what he says seriously. Not even Trump. Which brings me to my next point…
The Reality About The Trump Narrative
You can say all you want about Trump and I won’t fault you. But the man is not stupid. He is a successful business man. He saw an opportunity to run on hate and let that fuel his entire campaign. Guess what? It actually worked.
That wasn’t by accident. It was calculated and it was done knowing he could win if he played the cards right. Part of running a successful business or campaign is knowing your audience. How many people said this country wasn’t ready for a black president when Barrack Obama was elected? How many people said they wanted to see a birth certificate?
For eight years, those people lost. The country shifted in those eight years because everyone engaged in pissing match. We got caught up in the debate of millennial vs baby boomers. Because of that, people got tired of the millennial “everybody wins” agenda. I, for one, am a millennial and share a lot of those same principles. But I also see the writing on the wall.
Trump fed into all those people who are tired of the left and he swayed those who are in the middle. Do I think Trump actually hates black people and sides with these radical assholes? No. I don’t.
I think he saw another opportunity to invest in himself and he did it in a way he knew would win him the presidency.
Those People Are Idiots
Lastly, these white supremacists who think they have actually been oppressed for decades, like Duke, are idiots. Plain and simple. No one who is sane or logical, even in the slightest, is siding with them.
Is racism still a problem? Yes it is. Is it worse than it was decades ago? Not even close. Will it always be a problem? I wish I could say no, but it seems impossible. As long as we have families that hate, that hate continues to filter down.
All we can do is try to move forward peacefully, lovingly and whole heartedly. My heart aches for all the violence and hate in this world. Part of that is because I can’t hate people based on the color of their skin, their religion or their political beliefs. What bothers me is a lack of understanding. A lack of content to your character. And the yesteryear that some of us cling on to.
It is 2017. Let’s be better.