By David G. Firestone
I’d be remiss not to address the situation that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The shadow of the dark weekend that looms over us as a country can’t be ignored. Between an emboldened and vocal white supremacist movement, an anti-fascist movement that “doesn’t believe property damage constitutes violence,” two police officers killed in a helicopter crash, and a deranged driver killing a woman and injuring many others using his car, the last 72 hours have sent a clear message that the country is in a lot of trouble.
This last weekend will forever be known for the chaos of those protests, and the three deaths. What should also be known is that these alt-right white supremacists do NOT speak for all white people. They certainly do not speak for me and they don’t speak for many of my friends and family. Their views prove how uneducated, and disconnected from reality they really are. Hate has no place with me or my websites.
At the same time, this Antifa or anti-fascists movement is helping embolden the white supremacist movement. Peaceful counter-protesting is the easiest and best ways to fight back, since it sends the message that there are a lot more people who disagree with the white supremacist movement than agree with it. When violence breaks out, any message the counter-protestors have, is instantly lost. The focus shifts from the message to the violence, and that’s all anyone pays attention to. In the end, nobody wins.
We really have forgotten the lessons learned by Martin Luther King and Gandhi, who achieved changes not through violence, but through peace. Their movements and tactics made sure that the message was the focus. We need changes to happen, but the loss of focus on the change is ensuring we don’t get the message. Sadly, there are no easy answers, but we need to keep trying. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and right now, we really appear as a house divided.