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#ThisIsNotUs?

Rachel Ombok
Rachel Ombok Writer for Sauquoit Valley HS Hub.
2y New York Story
#ThisIsNotUs ?

#ThisIsNotUs? No America, this is exactly what we are.


Over the last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists and neo-nazis marched in a protest to ‘Unite The Right’ and fight to ‘not be replaced’ in America. These white domestic terrorists then lit torches and rallied, causing danger and violence in the streets. A woman was killed by a white nationalist who rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters. The violence and bigotry on Saturday were truly devastating.


But what I saw from online personalities, specifically the white liberal ones, were disappointing. Lady GaGa tweeted this after the chaos started:

Lady GaGa's tweet

-which was ripped apart by black twitter and realistic leftist thinkers. Of course, everyone should be kind, that’s what you teach kindergarteners on the first day of elementary school. It’s just how you should treat people. But being kind and peaceful isn’t going to fix the alt-right problem in this country. If you face a group of white nationalists who have guns and terrorist tendencies, you can’t stop them with diplomacy and peacefulness. Don’t tell the counter protesters to treat these malicious beings with kindness, rather face these terrorists with a stern and unapologetic force coercion. Here is a good example of how unrealistic and ineffective peaceful approaches would be in this situation:


Example Tweet


Of course, there are times and places for diplomacy and peacefulness but now isn’t one of them. As Virginia governor said "I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came to Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple. Go home...There is no place for you here, there is no place for you in America".


We need to be stern and let them know they cannot hide behind the first amendment and try to justify their hate speech. Here is a thread to show why these domestic terrorists don’t deserve to protest to ‘not be replaced’:


Why We Shouldn't Let Them Protest


Then after, the hashtag #ThisIsNotUs started trending, a hashtag that was supposed to prove that this isn’t the America depicted in the streets. Except it is. America was built on bigotry and white supremacy since it’s first days. It also had slavery longer than many other civilized nations. And not much has changed. The KKK endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election and supporters like them are exactly what got him into the White House, and why they feel free to spew their hatred.


What was also disappointing, but expected, President Trump described the chaos in the riots as “egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” He failed to name the white supremacists and alt-right groups at the center of the violent protests for who they were. Democrats and even Republicans slammed Trump for his lack of directness. But is it really surprising that our president would say this after he has disrespected all types of marginalized groups during his presidency, from the LGBT+ community to blacks and other minorities?


The events that happened in Charlottesville this weekend was sickening. That there were so many people behind these hateful notions and didn’t even feel the need to hide behind hoods because they knew they’d still be employed and normal citizens Monday morning. In my opinion, more people need to oppose this behavior at all fronts. It’s unclear what will come next from this weekend’s events, but we all need to get rid of the threat of bigotry of America as soon as possible.



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Rachel Ombok
Writer for Sauquoit Valley HS Hub.

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