Racism Isn’t Dead

Sabina Idriz, Co-Editor in Chief

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The events on August 11th led to riots and one death, and it all started when the city council of Charlottesville voted to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer – a man who has said things like, “This country does belong to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is.” – organized a rally with the ‘alt-right’ as a protest.

The alt-right, a term promoted by Spencer that refers to a movement for white nationalism, took to the night with pitchforks, swastika symbols, and racist chants. Many people call them neo-Nazis for their racist beliefs.

“The Constitution does give us the right to protest but there’s a difference between free speech and hate speech and they’re not observing that,” senior Olivia Houchins-McCallum said.

President Donald Trump came under fire for his initial statement on the rally – he did not outright denounce them as Nazis or white nationalists. His further statements were even more confusing, putting the blame on ‘both sides’ and saying the ‘alt-left’ were to blame as well.

“Initially his responses were a little bit off putting because I felt like he was kind of tiptoeing around the real issue but eventually I think he condemned it and I am pretty satisfied with what he said,” junior Elise Marshall said.

He was referring to Antifa, a group that came to counter-protest but unlike the alt-right, do not base their ‘platform’ on racism.

“He should have already been impeached by now, however Pence is also a huge threat to the state of the nation,” McCallum said.

Racism is still well and truly alive, and those who believe in things like ethnic cleansing and “white power” are among us. It’s time we think of ways to solve this or to fight back – whether by involving ourselves in activism, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, or simply speaking out against these people, there is something everyone can do.

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