I didn't have a stellar high school history education. I remember one teacher in particular who just let us do whatever and often played movies like Red Dawn. We did cover the Civil War, at least the basics, like Abraham Lincoln and states succeeding the Union. In all of the lessons taught to me, the teachers talked about the various things that triggered the Civil War, like state's rights versus federal authority and the election of Abraham Lincoln as the sixteenth President of the U.S. But the most important part of the Civil War, the thing always emphasized, was that it ended slavery. My take away from these lessons was simple. Slavery was (and is) a horrible horrible thing. It is a shameful awful part of our American history. People who fought to keep slaves were awful and cruel and the furthest thing from anything Christian. Villains. They became villains in my mind.
Lessons on World War II came along soon after. We learned about Hitler and Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. We learned about a bomb so horrible and destructive that countries came together to make a declaration to never use it again. My take away from my lessons on World War II was that Nazis did horrible awful things to people they deemed less than themselves. Color, religion, sexual orientation, not being full blood German, were all things that would send a person to prison camp and death. Somewhere around 7 million Jews and around 1.8 million non-Jewish Polish citizens, not to mentions the hundreds of thousands of homosexuals, disabled people and people of other religions, were killed by Nazis in World War II. Nazis are horrible, evil people. Villains. They are villains.
We have villains living among us now. They are people who believe that the color of their skin makes them better or gives them more rights than those who are different from them. They believe that African Americans should "know their place". They believe that their Christian religion is the only religion and that those who follow any other form should leave this country. They believe that homosexuals should be 'cured' or killed. This group that consists of white men and women are not true Americans. They spread hate and intolerance. They teach this hate to their children. They are a disease. A blight. They are domestic terrorists. Wars were fought to end people like this.
The very same people who brought violent protests to Charlottesville, South Carolina over the weekend.
Those men and women, cheering for racism and holding Nazi flags and Confederate flags are domestic terrorists.
It is my responsibility to speak out against racism. It is my responsibility to stand up to hate. My silence to those hateful actions is to condone racism. This blog is my voice and the best outlet I have in this moment. I am not a public speaker, so this is my public stage. I will not condone or tolerate hate and racism in my family, in my friends and in my community.