My stomach dropped when I first heard about the events unfolding in Charlottesville last week.
I thought I had been transported back in time when I saw images of tiki-torch bearing white supremacists chanting around a statue of Confederate villain Robert Edward Lee. It was jarring, but it wasn’t particularly surprising as a native Southerner. I went to undergrad with white students who proudly adorned their dorm walls with Confederate flags and donned the image on hats and t-shirts without a second thought. Let’s just say I’m used to the mindset that accompanies this type of ignorance.
Seeing the counter protesters boldly denouncing them gave a bit of relief. However, the little hope I had on Friday night quickly dissipated by Saturday afternoon. My emotions grew deeper when I read about Heather Heyer’s murder after Neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed his car into the crowd. Since I’m always interested in other people’s takes, I hopped on social media and noticed the shock waves sent by this senseless violence.
I was struck by the swiftness by which people denounced white supremacy since many people have called for less discussions on identity and boiled down the unrest to economic instability after the 2016 election. I guess now that another tragedy has happened “well-meaning” White America can’t ignore America’s deep-seated racial issues.