Saturday 12th August 2017 marked the day where many neo-Nazis and white nationalists in the United States clashed with anti-racism and anti-fascism protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. The far-right protestors began to protest due to the statue of Confederate General, Robert E Lee, being removed from a public park by Charlottesville. General Robert E. Lee was a key figure in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and was a main player in preserving slavery within the US amongst other things.
For those of you who are unaware of what the Confederate flag symbolises; the flag was formed by seven states: Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi. This was in the south of America; whose main income came through trade of cotton and the plantation system which relied on the use of and labour of African slaves during the Slave Trade. These states were then joined by several others, as the Confederate, who are all were against the appointment of Abraham Lincoln, due to his stance on abolishing slavery.
The far-right activists on Saturday say that diversity is just another word for white genocide and argue that white Americans are under attack, and they have been attempting to recruit new members on college campuses across America. Groups such as the KKK and neo-nazi groups who parade the nazi symbol as a sign of white supremacy made protests violent, which led to the death of one, and the injuries of 19 others, when a car was driven into the crowd of anti-racism protestors.
Islamophobic media, a racist President, police brutality against the non-white community and previous terrorist attacks have led to high levels of tensions between many white and non-white communities within America. The media within the US are openly Islamophobic and will twist news stories to put the Muslim community in a bad light (quite similar to some of the media in the UK?), especially after terror attacks, such as 9/11 or the Orlando shootings. Whilst these events were abhorrent and cannot be excused in any way shape or form, it is not acceptable to demonise a whole religion or community based on the acts of a few.
Just as a fact to throw in, 0.003% of 1.6billion Muslims are affiliated with terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and others. This is 48,000 Muslims as a rough estimate; you must honestly ask yourself: if all Muslims were terrorists would we not all be dead by now? The fact of the matter is the media and the political system will always look for a scapegoat to take the attention away from a failing, crumbling system and for the past decade and more, Muslims have been the scapegoats for the problems of the West; just how the Jews were scapegoated by Hitler for Germany’s problems.
The appointment of Trump as the US President has led to many right-wing extremists to have a false sense of confidence due to how openly racist and discriminatory Trump was during his election campaign to Africans, Asians, and South American communities to name a few. With Trump being so vocal about his opinions on these groups, neo Nazis now find it acceptable to tell anyone who is not white, that they do not belong in America, and this feeling has been on the increase day by day since the start of his campaign. Hate crime rocketed within the US just days after the appointment of Trump to the White House.
Even police brutality has become more evident day by day due to social media, yet it still is not tackled by the Trump Administration. Black people are shot for fun by the American Police, or abused, or beaten yet nothing is done about this. It seems like the system wants white supremacy within the US, and are willing to treat anyone who is non-white with the least amount of respect as possible. We are not saying every non-white citizen is treated this way, nor are we saying every police officer target the black community, or that every white person is a right-wing supremacist; however, there is strong divides between communities within the US that are becoming more evident with each passing day.
We urge people to unite from all backgrounds; regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion to stand up to the media, the police, the Trump Administration and the system to say “No, enough is enough, racism and violence are not acceptable in our society” There are millions upon millions of you, and only a handful of them. The system is outnumbered by its citizens and it is we who have the upper hand. The system will make it seem as if they are in control, or that they are strong and united but this is not the case. We can change the system, we can fight the system and fight all forms of oppression if we all unite. Protest, fight for change, fight for what you believe in, peace and equality IS possible, but only if we fight for it.