**Disclaimer** This article is not directly about the atrocities of Charlottesville, VA. This article is also not about racial relations (again this is being written about already by many smarter people than me..), I am one person, sharing their thoughts and feelings as responsibly as I can. This is more about my thoughts on protesting and the psychology behind the white nationalists. PLEASE watch the video. It is not, and I am NOT pro alt right in any regard. It is more of a documentary of sorts. I condemn any and all acts of violence and racism.
Ok, here goes.
This is an important video to study for those of us who wish to be informed as to what we are up against and come out on the correct side of history. I will share my thoughts on it below, but please watch the video first.
Here is why I think watching videos like this, and educating ourselves in general, is important.
- You get the very real sense that these people aren't necessarily stupid or crazy... which is actually scarier to be honest, but are in fact so incredibly misguided as to be living in a truly alternate reality from the rest of us. Not to say that a large percentage of their constituent's AREN'T stupid and/or nutzo, but that the leaders at least, are normal seeming people. I am reeling from the insight that they reallly THINK their perspective is valid and even humanitarian... They really believe white supremacy is what the country and the world needs to be happy and successful. They truly believe that the "european culture" (whatever that is) is dying out with the uprising in diversity. They think it is perfectly normal to believe that if we got rid of, or segregated all the people of color (and lets not forget about the jews) that the world would be more prosperous and better for everyone. I am just speechless to see honesty in the eyes of people who I feel are SO way off base and lacking in compassion and reason. As painful as it is, I think it is so important to study these people so that we may understand their view point in order to be able to counter it with intelligence and forethought. TO be absolutely CLEAR. I am not saying that i think we need to "understand where they are coming from". More that we should prepare ourselves for how normal they seem. Monsters don't always LOOK like monsters. Think of this video as a practice run to process our own thoughts and feelings in preparation for ACTUALLY meeting them face to face, perhaps we already have... <shudder>
- In this video there are several clips of liberal/lefty protesters acting with violence towards the alt right. I have no idea if it was provoked or who "started it". I also KNOW that the right is by far the most violent (to be clear), however what i saw in this video gave me pause. This is the point I want to make the most and it's a tricky one. We are all, myself included, rightly angry and even enraged by the idiocy, ignorance and back-asswardness of these horrible KKK in plain clothes shit heads. While all races are marching for equality and solidarity, I know PoC have to be feeling this on a level I can't even begin to comprehend. However, if we want to be on the correct side of history, the peaceful side... the WINNING side, when we are at marches and rallies, we MUST keep our freakin cool. If we allow ourselves to answer hatred with hatred, we have already lost. Stand up we must, but let the assholes in the room be the ones to spew hatred and division. If we can follow in the footsteps of successful social movements of the past, holding the peace even in the face of violence and never backing down or giving way to our own rage, then we can do this. I KNOW we can. It's going to take some massive learning of how to manage our own emotions. It's going to take the people who have lost the most, to control themselves the most. I know this isn't fair and I will piss some people off for even suggesting it. But we cannot give the dickheads on the right even the tiniest reason to point the finger at us. This may be one of the biggest internal challenges of our time. To hold the peace even in the face of the most vile of oppressors. We cannot afford our message to get infected with the rage from the other side. If we can hold the peace at every rally, every march and in every discourse online, then those in the wrong will stick out like sore thumbs and they will have no ground to stand on. What I am speaking of is holding PHYSICAL peace. By all means lets shout and make a ruckus as loud as we can, but hold back from actually committing violence (other than what is necessary for self preservation, of course). What I am standing for is the enormity of spirt all of us, who are a space for equality, can hold. I am standing for the strength of the people who have been most oppressed to hold out, as hard as it may be and as much as it is impossible for me to ever know what that is like. Marginalized people, know you are NOT alone. There are throngs of the people, the privileged white among them, that stand with you and for you. I am one of them.
- And finally, this is scary AF. People who have no problem with thinking that it's ok that others have to suffer for them to thrive are given license by our president elect to ACT on their archaic thinking. They will look any one of us right in the face and rationalize that they are just looking out for the best interest of their children. Here is the simplest way I have found to counter this thought process. Many of us white folk have friends or relatives that ascribe to the thinking we are fighting against. Friends we can break up with, but family is forever. SO how do we make a difference and try to change at least the ones in our own families? How about this. Ask this question to your neo-nazi friends and relatives; "why does anyone have to suffer for you to thrive?" Attempt to paint the picture for them that it IS possible to come from radical inclusivity and for ALL to thrive as a result, even their children and grand children (who may or may not be white.. after all ;)) Also, remember they may have actually NEVER thought of the suffering of others as a result of their viewpoint. They may even think they are coming from a place of love. If we can keep a civil dialogue that leaves room for growth through a conversation, perhaps more minds will be awakened. Know when to quit too, sometimes a person needs aloneness and time to have an "aha" moment. It CAN happen!
In closing, If our thinking is rooted in anything other than the knowing that ALL people CAN thrive together, than we are on the dying side of our current social structure. I know we are FAR from there yet, but I feel the wave of truth and I know we can get there. I am envisioning the big picture. I am keeping the faith that we, as people of all colors, creeds, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and even political views can get through this with a new and improved world. I am praying that more inclusivity focused, forward thinking people of peace don't get taken out with the dying paradigm of exclusivity, ignorance and violence.
Breathing deep and arming myself with knowledge, patience and massive amounts of self control~