I went to the woods and was getting things ready for bow season, because it is almost here and my husband and I are so excited!
The thing about being in the woods is cell phone service is limited (which I love)… so when I got back into the land of technology I was left asking myself, what the hell were people doing???
I was very suddenly greeted with headlines about what had happened in Charlottesville. For those of you who don’t know it was a riot. I was met with headlines of a riot. Then I was met with hatred and stupidity from friends and family members on social media.
This is what I can piece together, some white supremacists were peacefully protesting the removal of a confederate statue. They filed the paperwork and had the permits to do so. Then they were descended upon by BLM and Antifa. Violence broke out, one person was killed and the world has once again erupted into a cesspool of bigotry and hate.
I was seeing my liberal friends lumping every right leaning Republican into the same category as the white supremacy groups that were present, like neo-nazi’s, the KKK, and so on. Just so you know Republican doesn’t equal white supremacist. In fact if you want to get really nasty about it. Lincoln was a Republican (he freed the slaves). The KKK was founded by Democrats, you know the people who like to burn crosses and hang people, just because their skin isn’t the right color.
What’s worse is that I am seeing the same hate and the same bigotry from everyone. It’s all directed at different people, but it is all the same emotion.
Let me share with you a story. I worked in retail before I got my job here at KLLL and let me tell you I experienced all walks of life, there was one day when I was working I was working with an African American customer….
…Before I finish this story, let me just say that angry customers are just a casualty of working in retail. It’s not because of anything you do, it just happens. Anyone who works retail will tell you that…
It was towards the end of one of my semesters of school, I had little sleep, and was living off coffee and stress. When this goes on I get an eye twitch and forget to blink which is a) creepy and b)murder on my contacts. They dry out which makes it hard to see so I have to try and produce tears to re-wet them. So I’m helping this woman and I had found that blinking hard and rolling my eyes when I blink helped do what I needed… I apparently picked the way wrong customer to do this with.
While talking with this woman I did what I had been doing all day little to my knowledge, until she pointed it out. Loudly. She then attached the words “It’s because I’m black.” By that time she had the attention of the store and she then threatened to hit me so hard that my eyes would permanently roll back in my head. My thought was, great this is how it goes down, I die trying to sell a purse in a department store so I can put myself through college. By this point one of my colleagues had called security and they showed up to just let her know that she would have to make that first hit a good one, if she was going to take it.
She eventually walked away, yelling discrimination and all it was, was a habit that I wasn’t even aware I was doing.
I walked away from that situation and thought, I need defense courses, a CHL, and I need to figure out a better way to re-wet my contacts. The big thing I walked away with was the knowledge that there are people who walk around with a huge chip on their shoulder just because their skin is a certain color, or they associate one particular way.
So when I see the world as it is now, I know that people like this woman that I dealt with are growing and they hate being quiet.
And those of you who think I am speaking against BLM, or Antifa or whatever, I’m not. I’m speaking against the chips so to speak.
There are a few things that trouble me when I look at what happened at Charlottesville and I’m talking outside the hate on both sides.
The removal of the confederate statue bothers me, because I am a firm believer that if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. Pulling references to a war that divided our nation, stops the possibility to teach. I learned a lot from asking questions as a kid. A child asking a question about that statue could open up the lines of communication about America’s past.
There was a time where African Americans were sold into slavery by their tribal leaders in Africa. They were then sold into servitude to the highest bidder. The Southern states were the most predominant slave owners because of the type of industry they depended on. They needed people to work in their large fields, and harvest their crops. Slaves were a cheap alternative. The Northern States decided that this was a bad idea and decided to abolish slavery, which effected a very predominant part of the South’s life with little to no alternatives. So one by one the South succeeded from the Union and the North decided that, that couldn’t happen. That is what started the Civil War.
The civil war wasn’t fought over the color of people’s skin, it was fought because of what people thought was the over reach of the government. Hell, the American Revolution was started over taxes.
The fact is this this country was built on the backs and blood of men and women on both sides. This country wouldn’t be what it is without the Civil War. What if Lincoln had said, “Okay, bye Felica” when the South decided to part ways? What if they had sat down and had a negotiation and slavery was never abolished? What if?
So I am bothered by the removal of something that is suppose to serve as a reminder of our past. Emphasis on that past part. The power that people give to things, like statues and monuments is up to them. For some its a reminder of their oppression, I’m reminded of women’s struggle every time I vote because my Great Grandmother was alive before women had the right to vote and was there when women could first vote.
The fact that White Supremacy is still a things bothers me. I mean there was a war over this and the whole world was involved.
And lastly, the violence bothers me… Can people not use your words anymore? Can we not just let the sheer volume of people on our side of things speak for itself anymore? Does it have to come to violence every time we disagree?
I guess the more I look at Charlottesville the more I worry about our world and the places that it is going.
So with that…
I’m going to ask you to do something out of love. It can be a stranger, a colleague, or your neighbor. Just do something selfless and nice for someone else. I think if the world operated this way, there would be a lot less Charlottesville’s occurrences out there.