Hate, intolerance and bigotry has no home here.
Charlottesville and hate. These two words are etched in my mind today. I was going to write about something entirely different on this Reset Sunday but based upon what happened in beautiful Charlottesville, VA yesterday, it’s important for me to address this vicious act because a RESET is necessary. Racists, Nazis, Alt-Right and others converged on Charlottesville, VA in a Unite the Rally to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. But that was more than a protest. It was about hate, intolerance and bigotry. Oh…did I say that this is 2017! Hate had no home here then and it has no home here now.
What happened in Charlottesville, VA yesterday is a travesty.
When you are President of the United States, you are the President of everyone.
I happened to switch on satellite radio as I was on my way to the Belleview Wine and Seafood Festival and as usual, I immediately switch to CNN. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So I quickly switched to MSNBC – same thing. I switched to Fox Business News – same thing. I switched to NPR – same thing. I switched to the local news channel 1060 AM – same thing. And I said out loud “what the hell is going on in Charlottesville?”
Then I started thinking back to the a saying that has been used for the last several years while President Obama was in office. That saying is, “We’re going to take our country back.”
What does that mean? Well, for me and many others in non-white categories, it has a meaning that is doesn’t bring a smile to our faces. It makes me feel as though I am less than; that I don’t belong here; that I’m not good enough.
Look, this should not be a liberal, conservative, Independent, Democratic or Republican issue. This is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. What happened yesterday was not only a travesty and sad, it is despicable.
And yes, there are Black Lives Matter protests, Blue Lives Matter protests, Women Protests and many others. The difference is that they don’t intentionally come with torches, masks, weapons on open display which denotes that trouble is imminent.
Was Trump’s quote about Charlottesville enough?
The President of the United States said “”We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
No Mr. President! When cars are driven into crowds of people in other countries, it is called an act of terrorism. Why was this not called what it was and is. A home-grown act of terrorism. People DIED. People were hurt. Law enforcement were hurt.
I’m sad about this statement from the President: “Our country is doing very well in so many ways. We have record — just absolute record employment. We have unemployment, the lowest it’s been in almost 17 years. We have companies pouring into our country. Foxconn and car companies, and so many others, they’re coming back to our country. We’re renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country and great for the American worker. We have so many incredible things happening in our country. So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very sad.”
Mr. President, when evil isn’t called by its name, that’s sad. Walking across the campus carrying lit torches, reminiscent of the KKK terrorizing black people not that long ago in this country but this time openly. It is also reminiscent of the 1930’s American Nazi rallies at Madison Square Garden….openly. This was pure HATE!
Home-grown terrorism can happen in your own backyard!
And acts of terrorism don’t happen just in large crowds. It happened recently in my town where due to political differences between two white males, a father, husband and elected committeeman was murdered in cold blood in his own yard with his wife looking on. I heard from many from all backgrounds and political affiliations of how this act angered and frightened them. Every person I spoke with condemned it. HATRED HAS NO PLACE HERE!
If President Trump really believes that this country has an incredible amount of hatred, bigotry and violence led by a large contingent of people who support him and even said “the President better look in the mirror and remember who got him elected” but yet won’t be specific about calling out what this act really was is SAD.
What is needed is more conversation. What is needed is for the elected officials to work together in a bi-partisan matter. What the AMERICAN PEOPLE need is for the issues important to us such as HEALTHCARE, JOBS, ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, LIVABLE WAGES, HUMAN RIGHTS for ALL PEOPLE are addressed in a thoughtful, considerate yet deliberate manner. That goes for elected officials in Washington, DC and local elected officials. It’s not Politics, It’s Personal!
Screaming, violence, name-calling, avoidance gets us nowhere. Tough talk with no action does and means NOTHING!
As I stated earlier, I was in my own little world headed to an event to enjoy a day with friends, share laughter, dance and drink some wine. But in another part of the United States, just a few states away, there was an act of terrorism taking place. It was another of far too many wake-up calls for me.
You KNOW people in your workplaces will be talking about this next week. Before we get back to work we need a RESET! So on this Reset Sunday, I hope you will take a moment to pray for the families that are grieving as a result of the Charlottesville travesty. I hope you will take a moment to pray for anyone impacted by bigotry, hate and violence. And I also hope that you will think about what YOU can do to help others by Shaping the Conversation for more peace, love and results that benefits our families and country.
Let’s do a RESET SUNDAY together!
Some Republican Leadership responses below:
“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” Tweeted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another fellow Republican: “Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, dismissed Trump’s bland rhetroic in a way that was more subtle, but made the same point: “What ‘WhiteNatjonalist’ are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism that can’t be tolerated anymore that what Any extremist does,” the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee tweeted.
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over writing the tax reform legislation that is a crucial part of Trump’s agenda said “We should call evil by its name,” Hatch said. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada issued a statement in which “condemn[ed] the outrageous racism, hatred and violence. It’s unacceptable & shameful. No room for it in this country.”
Several Republican senators referred to the violence as a case of “domestic terrorism.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has been a favorite of Republican conservatives, issued a statement in which he called on the Justice Department to “immediately investigate and prosecute today’s grotesque act of domestic terrorism.”