Charlottesville: Haunted by the Hate

I try not to get political online, but the events in Charlottesville are haunting me.

Honestly, racism should not be political. It’s not a political issue, but rather a moral one that goes to the very heart of what America stands for. Either all men are created equal, or they are not.

I cannot believe that in 2017, we are still fighting Nazis.

What haunts me about Charlottesville is not just the brazenness of the Nazis, but their age. These were not the literally “old” South hiding behind their hoods. These were young men in Polo shirts boldly showing their faces as they shouted for genocide.

There is strong implicit racial bias in pretty much everything in America. This is something that needs to change, but it is a different topic from this post. From this implicit bias, many people have ingrained prejudices, believing stereotypes and lies about others. For most of us, though, these prejudices don’t flare up into outright, genocidal hatred.

So what pushes these people over the edge? Where are they being taught this vile mindset? We blame certain mosques and religious leaders for radicalizing Muslim youth, but are there equivalents here in America? We already know the names of some of the white nationalist “imams” radicalizing our youth—David Duke, Richard Spencer. Who else is poisoning our American youth? Is it simply in the home, a proud “heritage” passed from father to son, or are they getting this dreck from a larger, more structured entity?

Perhaps the vast majority of these people have something in them that makes them feel deficient in some way–most of us do. Perhaps with these people, someone found them and twisted the knife in their wound, opening it wider, then told them their deficiency wasn’t their fault, that these OTHER people were at fault. And these wounded people were so desperate to believe that they weren’t deficient in the way they feared that they believed the rhetoric and instead became deficient on a whole other level.

Why do I feel certain that there was someone in their lives that taught them this vile ideology? Because it is absolutely clear that hate is LEARNED. My daughter has been in school for 5 years now, and I can tell you with certainty that these young kids DON’T CARE about skin color. It means nothing to them—they’re just friends.

Adults often claim to be “colorblind” when it comes to race. While this is not accurate—anyone raised in the USA has been acculturated to the racism here—what those adults mean is that they are aware of the implicit biases that pervade all of our thinking here and try not to let them influence their actions and judgments.

Young kids my daughter’s age truly are colorblind. Why? Because they haven’t learned that skin color is used as a criteria for judgment. They haven’t learned the prejudices, the stereotypes, and the lies. They judge each person as an individual, just take them as they come.

Hate is absolutely and unequivocally learned. So we need to find the education centers and shut them down. Equality and acceptance can be taught in its place. It is the easier mindset to teach, since it is the natural state of mind in early childhood.

The white supremacists marching in Charlottesville make me sick. The murder of Heather Heyer at the hands of Nazis on American soil brought me to tears. We Americans stand at a crossroads today. We need to decide who we are as a country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” ~ Declaration of Independence, 1776


The Nazis and KKK in Charlottesville and across the USA do not find these truths “self-evident”. If you do, then stand up, speak out, be counted—and teach equality in word and deed.

Hate has no place here.

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