posts 1 - 15 of 23
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 318

Take a look at this video: Charlottesville: Race and Terror (2017), a VICE video. (Run time: 22:04)


A warning (TW): this video contains offensive language, references to violence and hate speech, and may well be upsetting and hurtful to many viewers.

Charlottesville and the events there on a weekend in August 2017 were shocking to many who witnessed it both in person and via the many media outlets that covered the story.


In class, we will begin shortly to look at how so many societies, both historically and today, divide people into those who are identified as “us” and “them.” We do this in a whole variety of ways and the identification of an “us” and “them” is often changing and has a certain fluidity.


That said, what happened in Charlottesville took any notion of “us” and “them” well beyond a version 2.0 of the concept.


Reporter Elle Reeve (then of VICE News) covered the story and took us inside the thinking of some of the perpetrators of the violence in Charlottesville. To say the least, this clip (which I asked you to watch in connection with this post) is both eye-opening and terrifying.


Here’s what I’d like you to address in this post:


  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021 and the ongoing polarization in this country.
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?

Just in case you were not in class on Monday/Tuesday, we watched nearly all of a documentary on what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. The documentary was from PBS’ Frontline and was titled Documenting Hate, Charlottesville. Run time was 54 minutes.

sage_gorilla
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?

The events that transpired in Charlottesville are a result of rising comfortability. There has been a spike in hate crimes and these heinous, hateful acts in America after (what I’ve observed to be) the election of President Trump. Because of Trump’s beliefs, his actions in office, and the behavior of the police force, the extreme right has felt comfortable voicing their opinions (and very loudly). In the video, we saw these people in Charlottesville protest without masking their identities. This, as well as the police’s lack of action really shows how comfortable these protestors were. They did not fear punishment because they knew that it would not come. They felt as though they were backed by the president and the police. This is a problem. Until more left-leaning politicians are established in the government and there is reform in our criminal justice system, I think that these right extremists will only get more comfortable.


In Charlottesville, what we saw was hatred. We saw white supremacists and antisemites try to normalize their beliefs and show their strength. They tried to display power by beating people and making them afraid. Through their physical displays of power and the police’s inability to act, they contributed to the rising right-wing hate in this country. The right-extremists view America as a white man’s world that different disenfranchised groups and the political left threaten. The leftists who were protesting view everybody as deserving of equal rights and equal life.


The white supremacists protested to show a united front to the public. They wanted to show the world that they were not just some presence online and that they had the capability of organizing something large. The protestors on the other side were protesting the right-wing protestors themselves and their hateful views. I do not know why white supremacists and antisemites view the world as they do. Maybe they were just raised that way (which is not an excuse) and feel very threatened by change. I know that the left views the world as a place where everyone should be equal. That is the world that I want to live in.


I do think that something like this could very well happen again. I think that if the police force keeps neglecting its duty to marginalized people, people will always feel comfortable harming these communities. Something worse than Charlottesville or January 6 could happen if America ever elects another president that extreme right-wing conservatives felt seen and supported by. If we ever have another Trump, this country will be unsalvageable.

glass
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9
  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021, and the ongoing polarization in this country.)
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?
What is happening is neo nazi groups in our modern-day society are committing terrible hate crimes against humanity, affecting the lives of millions of people. People are driving cars into groups of people, killing and injuring many others. They are protesting against "Jews replacing them" which in itself is a horrible statement but also on how white lives matter, countering the BLM movement and chants. For the future, I think it signified a sort of "ok" for the Jan 6 raid as if "it's happened before so it can happen again" type of logic. It really shows how after centuries of existence and trying to fix our society, on a basic level there are people who haven't changed, who still believe they are superior based on the melanin in their skin or the religion they believe in. There have been cases where conservative small towns arrest people for murder because they don't believe in god and so, therefore, are "devil worshipers" and members of cults and there are cases now when black people are being shot for holding a hairbrush or simply walking out of a store "looking suspicious". It's terrible.To describe what's going on would be to go back into colonial times when people in the north began pushing for slave freedom and the south resisted. It goes back into our past and shows how we really haven't changed as much as we say we have. People are trying to keep up statues of men who fought to keep people enslaved when those very people now are living there and have to see it when they walk by the square. What's motivating the people to protest against moving the statue and driving into the people I honestly couldn't say is logic. It is deeply rooted racism probably taught by parents and/or others. The culture in the southern states is very different from the ones higher up and I think it is very clear in this case. Those fighting for their rights are quite literally just trying to get the same treatment that white people get, in 2022! It is infuriating that this is still an issue.


I think considering the violent hate crimes that happened and are still happenign to this day to asain americans since covid 19 hit and the on going fight for BLM and other movements proves that it absolutly can and probably will happen again.

anonymous333
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 6

I think this is happening because of the election of Donald Trump. In many of these neo-nazi, RAM, or white supremacy riots we often see Trump flags also being flown. We can't blame all of their actions on Trump but I believe he was the motivation for many of these men's ideologies. Trump never specifically condemned or shamed those involved in white supremacy riots without placing some of the blame on those opposing them. They interpreted this to be his support in their fight, this is the same thing that occured with the january 6 storming of the capital. Trump cannot be directly blamed for what those people decided to do, but it's their belief that they have large numbers and the president backing them that they feel confident enough to commit such crimes. I would describe what happened in Charlottesville as horrific. Hearing the men speak in the video about being ready to be violent against the opposing protests because they know they will be violent too is sickening. The belief that is pushing these people is that they have this idea that they are being replaced in America, and that the whole world is against white men (which is not the case). I think something like these events could happen again, these groups dont just fade away

BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

The Events of Charlottesville

  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021 and the ongoing polarization in this country.)
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?


The events that occurred in Charlottesville is one of many, yet one of the biggest events of domestic extremism in the United States. People who were on the far right, those with very hateful views (anti-semitic, racism, homophobia, conspiracy theories, etc.), had begun to prove to the world that they were not a group of online personas. As sage_gorilla stated in their post, many extremists had their faces visible, displaying their ideals and hatred. The events of Charlottesville was a spark that slowly led up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, most likely a plan that was months in the making.


Regarding the politics in the country, I do not think there is much that can be done to establish more left politicians and influence. The country is slowly progressing, but the government is stuck in a time period where it’s seemingly the 1960s or 70s. The Republican party has had a long established history, with the party starting in the 1850s and their beliefs heavily based on traditional values. The amount of influence and power that the party has accumulated over time, as well as the average age of politicians being 60 years old (https://fiscalnote.com/blog/how-old-is-the-117th-congress), there is not much that can be done to even contest the party.


In the events of Charlotesville, the major group in play are white supremacists that gathered from all over the country. As I stated earlier, these supremacists are on the far right side and they wanted to display their power to the world. These people belonged to a group they made, a group that they labeled themselves as, a place where they can express their true selves without being criticized. However, these groups of venting and transparency transformed into reality, with the desire to enforce their viewpoints through action. As to why the white supremacists think the way they do, I believe a majority of it stems from religion, traditional ways of thinking, and the way the previous topics were taught to them by family and friends. Many white supremacists were Christians that were heavily anti semitic, wary that Jewish people would replace them. This sort of thinking traces all the way back to colonial times. The traditional ways of thinking present in the white supremacists can stem from the way society, religious groups, or cultural groups envision. Some examples would be expectations in gender roles (men or women only doing this or that) or sexuality (sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc). The last point to bring up is the way that these individuals were raised, which is not an excuse in any way. However, I do believe that enforcing specific ideas and seemingly “pounding” it into someone’s head can really change someone’s perspective. There is a large emphasis on antisemitism, racism, homophobia, and issues concerning the left wing. In this situation, I think that the white supremacists have formed their own world, their own truth. Their “truth” is different from the “truth” that many people see, which is history based on events. That is also where the “we” and “they” come into play. They had labels of being a Christian white man who wanted to “protect” their voices and opinions, while the other side, the protesters, had their own labels and agenda. In this world, there are multiple different perspectives and interpretations of a singular event that fully shape the outcome.


Considering the attack on January 6, I do think something worse will happen. If the attack was in response to Donald Trump’s defeat, with the goal to overthrow the United States Capitol, then there is also the possibility that white supremacists could organize an attack on all government buildings in D.C. I also believe that there is a possibility of multiple attacks happening simultaneously throughout the nation. If people from all over the nation were able to collect together and meet up in Charlottesville, then I do 100% believe that there can be a large communicated attack in response to another situation similar to the attack on January 6.

Pinyon Jay
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Who is the "we" and who is the "they"?

The events of Charlottesville were a collective effort by the white supremacist Neo-Nazi groups which have passed under the radar of mainstream society for a long time. They have grown more and more radical and have built up an audience while many were unaware. An initiator for the thrust of these groups into mainstream society was likely former president Trump’s ideas that he preached during his presidency, and the sort of dog-whistle terms that he used to signal support or at least complacency for these radical groups. Trump constantly maneuvered around the idea of denouncing white supremacy while also denouncing organizations like BLM and ANTIFA. He preached general statements of standing up and resisting to the direction America is going, “making america great again”, and from the perspective of the white supremacist organizations he was basically encouraging their acts of violence and terror in the name of “racial purity”. With the not-so-subtle support of the president, these white nationalist organizations at the event in Charlottesville felt they had a high degree of legitimacy for their goals. The events in Charlottesville and beyond also were likely invigorated by the complacency of the police and authority figures in general. By standing to the side and letting these violent acts happen, the police were basically signaling that they would permit events like this in the future. The violence in Charlottesville was a clear message that white supremacist and neo-nazi groups were gaining traction and would most certainly strike again, now that they had the U.S.’s attention and even the law wasn’t standing in their way. These events seemed to inspire more actions by similar radical groups in the future.

The white supremacist groups are so radicalized that they rationalize every strike against them and every event in general as the fault of POC, Jewish people, etc. Every event from their perspective seems to support their radical worldview, and this is clearly seen in the clip when the white supremacists explain their views, often blaming everything wrong in America on Jewish people. This is the result of radical white supremacist groups being isolated with their own view and not rationally discussing and debating it with others for so long that they create an echo chamber within their minds. This echo chamber constantly reinforces the generalizations they make because they don’t understand the perspectives of the people they are generalizing. The radicalized white supremacists cannot comprehend any world view other than theirs, and this is why it is so hard for groups like this, or any sort of radical group, to come to any understanding with the opposing side.

I think that as long as the U.S. continues its polarization and no one attempts to understand each other and their motives, these violent events will continue to happen and grow in severity. This is why education on this kind of content, and the Facing History course altogether, is so important. Without understanding the motives behind and initiation of the radical groups in this video, we cannot do much about them or prevent future destructive events. Trying to suppress and push these radical groups to the margins of society once again, countering hate with hate, and in turn reinforcing the white supremacists’ view of us vs them, will result in more violent conflicts. The main solution to increasing polarization in the U.S. is having civilized debates instead of all-out brawls. These radical groups must stop making generalizations as it impedes on all progress towards a more harmonious society.

JnjerAle
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Who is the We and Who is the They?

To address the main question, the “we” that the white supremacists use are fellow white people (specifically those that share the same hateful views) and the “they” is anyone that is a target of their hate (black people, Jewish people, etc.). By separating the two groups, it shows their condemnation of minorities and how their hateful views will not allow them to be placed in the same group as someone they deem below them. I believe that the main reason for the events in Charlottesville is the growing comfort that hate groups are feeling. The fact that even the (former) US president does not outright condemn their actions would only serve to fuel their confidence and rhetoric. By blaming both the alt right white supremacists and the protesters against the hate march, Trump had opened up the door for the growth of these neo-Nazis and allowed them to be much more comfortable going in public and enacting on their feelings. The violence and the lack of consequences for these white supremacists has only given them more power to do as they please since evidently, the government won’t punish them for it. The reason why these white supremacists are protesting is because they’re terrified of losing their privilege. American history has always favored white folks, especially white men, and they obviously want to stay in power because that is what they are used to. Equity strips them of their privilege. And yes, I do believe an event like this or the capital riot could happen again. It is evident online that people are still extremely comfortable sharing their hateful views because of how easy it is to be anonymous these days. The ability to freely spread their hateful rhetoric could give white supremacists the confidence to initiate yet another riot. The internet has given them a vessel to communicate with each other and plan out hateful events. In order to stop this process, we as a country need to quickly, clearly and completely condemn the beliefs of white supremacists and their actions. A lack of consequence is basically an open invitation for them to do it again because they know nothing will be done about it.
lil breezy
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Who is the We and Who is the They?

I don't have a valid reason to why white supremacists decide to protest and act violently. But I do know why they felt so comfortable doing so. The thing about the internet, is that someone could post the most outlandish idea, and there is bound to be at least one person who agrees. It is easier to track down people who have the same ideals with you. Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing. Racist people can share their ideals and find other racist people, or in some cases, convince impressionable people to think the same racist ideals. If a white supremacist finds themselves out of place at their hometown (as they should), and they go only and find out there is more people like them, they feel more confident. Not to mention the complete laziness of the police during rallies like this, making the protesters feel almost invincible to consequences. They did close to nothing to control the fighting, and eventually the hit and run. But what amazed me even more is that the police jumped in to defend a white supremacist who was getting attacked (near the end of the video). I think the fact that nothing much was done to these horrible people will allow for more rallies like this in the future. The more confident the white supremacists get, the more comfortable they will be in spreading their hate speech.


The way I want to describe the phenomenon at Charlottesville is probably not school appropriate. It is appalling and horrific at the same time. In simple words, it was a group of hateful people wanting to make a point. They didn't make any points though, instead, they ended a life. Although, it is evident that they do not even care for the woman who died, they instead count it as "extra points." It seems very delusional and I think they hoped to spread their delusion even more. It wasn't just an unfortunate event, because it could have been prevented if the police just took more action. I am not sure what is motivating the protesters, I assume they must learn their hate from somewhere, whether it be online or in their homes. The anti-racist protesters were there because they saw how violent and disgusting the protest was.


I 100% believe something like this, or even worse, can happen again. It's sad but true. As long as online hubs exist for these kinds of people, they continue to spread their "opinions." And as long as the police just stand by, they will continue to participate in these violent protests.


I agree with JnjerAle when they explained the "us" is white supremacists, and the "they" is the groups they target. It is obvious they see themselves as a powerful community that is above everyone else.

I also agree with Pinyon Jay's point about Donald Trump and how he practically praised these hate groups, allowing them to strive.



soccermom1800
Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 7

This has always been happening, there are many causes that lead these neo-nazis to find it acceptable to spread their hate speech in public, such as finding others online and morally corrupt politicians agreeing with them. But none of this is new and this is just a modern example of an issue that has been happening for centuries because of white supremacist values engraved into so many bigoted minds. This was a kind of warning sign to show people that these right-wing extremists were getting comfortable expressing themselves in public. The phenomenon that was at work in Charlotteville was pure bigoted fear, they think that other people (of other races, identities, etc.) will strip their rights away even though they are just trying to become equal citizens. This kind of fearmongering is a very useful tactic to draw people in to the alt-right pipleline and scare them into thinking they are being attacked by "them". I think something like Charlottesville or Jan 6th will happen again, these people have gained confidence and are connecting online in a massive way, making it inevitable that they will act more often and in worse ways.

renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

It will happen again — and it has for over 300 years

White supremacy, which has always been embedded within American society, has been returning to mainstream media and to the public eye. The catalyst for this was the election of Trump, someone who is tolerant and supports white supremacist groups. If the President — the most influential person in the country — endorses white supremacy, who else would need to be? White supremacists had perceived themselves to be "suppressed" for a few decades because they believed that America had been shifting toward a mindset welcome to a wider spectrum of people.

This has been happening in history, over and over again. There are so many people in America who believe that white people are the only ones who deserve to live in the United States. Even if they're not part of an extremist group like the Hammerskins or those who came to Charlottesville, there are people who believe those thoughts. And these people are what allowed white supremacists to have these riots in these cities. The police officers, officials who don't report upcoming riots, social media hosts of misinformation and hate — these are people who have power over whether these protests can continue or not. But when people with racist ideals continue to be in positions of power, these actions will never end.

Complicit white supremacists are the reason why racism and riots have occurred since the beginning of colonial America to the mid-1960s century to today and will continue into the future.

It is complicated to understand why people hate groups. I don't think I will ever understand, but I've thought of two reasons. First, these people have experienced something that has fictuously and stereotypically been blamed on a specific group of people. For instance, the rioters always shouted, "You will not replace us," blaming immigrants and people of color for "taking their jobs." Second, people love being parts of groups. Many extremists do not start out being a white supremacists with their friends or families. But once they find that extremist group, they feel a sense of connection that shifts into a mob mentality becoming more and more dangerous as more people join. This has been accelerated by social media, where you can easily find a group with your thoughts online.

If something like this doesn't happen again, I won't be surprised at all.

These actions have never ended. We see that sentiment in the Buffalo Massacre shooter who believed in the Great Replacement. We see it in Kyle Rittenhouse being found not guilty — and becoming a right-wing celebrity — for killing two people at a protest for a Black man shot by a police officer. We see it in Greg Abbott ordering law enforcement and random racists to stand at the border and attack those crossing the border. We see it in Trump calling the January 6th Capitol rioters "great people" and BLM protestors "thugs." It's everywhere.

That is what worries me, because I feel like we are just holding our breath for something to happen next.

luminaraunduli
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?

Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future?

I believe the events of the 2017 Charlottesville riots were a direct result of the unchecked behavior of increasing far right, white-extremism, & neo-nazism following the election of president Donald Trump. Evident in the polls, all of the members of the radical right groups voted for Trump in 2016, and support the Republican Party. Trump's inability to condemn these far-right groups gave them the "green-light" to go ahead and carry on/increase their violence, and simultaneously collect more power, followers, and widespread outreach. Another direct cause of the vast amounts of violence seen in Charlottesville was due to the Charlottesville Police Dept. not stepping in to undermine the riot and its confusion - the police not acting made the rioters seem that what they were doing was ok, and that they would not be penalized for continuing on.

How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?

The phenomenon at work in Charlottesville is a form of pure violence, and hatred. I believe that the motivation behind the people rioting there was rooted in fascist political ideologies, in turn with institutionalized racism and anti-semitism. In the video, the many can be seen shouting and chanting, "Jews will not replace us!" This directly reflects and epitomizes the idea antisemitism, with these groups perpetuating it through the ideology of neo-nazism. Unwilling to hear out the voices/opinions of others, or debate their ideas on rationality and facts, these violence groups are havens for far-right, closed-minded radicals --- unwilling to broaden their horizons or even try to comprehend the perspectives of others.

Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?

I do think that something like this, or far worse could happen again. January 6, 2021 proved to America that if these far-right groups and other radical/reactionary conservatives could mass together with such severe outcome once, they can most certainly do it again. It is scary to even think about, but it seems to be the reality. The current political institutions in America are allowing the far-right to commit these acts, action has to be taken against it in order to ensure the violence stops.

drakefan02
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?: Ruminating on the disquieting messages of Charlottesville

  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021 and the ongoing polarization in this country.
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?

There are a bunch of reasons that combine to explain why this was happening. I think the biggest reason is that right wing extremists aren't seeing enough opposition from police and internet platforms. Police did shockingly little during Charlottesville and after Charlottesville. So many extremist groups can advertise and gain members through internet platforms as seen with the rise above movement. The founder of the rise above movement is an example of how one can get neo Nazi ideals ingrained into them. He was changed by a prison divided by race. Dividing people by race is an easy way to give them an "us" vs "them" mindset. Another big reason is that trump gives people with extremist right wing ideas a sort of voice. He defended the violence during Charlottesville saying that both sides were to blame when clearly one was more to blame than the other.

The phenomenon at Charlottesville seems to be one that escalates, repeats, and faces little pushback. Police never do enough in those situations, for whatever reason. It starts with a peaceful protest but then extremists come in with opposing ideals and cause violence. I don't know too much about what motivates a neo nazi, but I do know that they are motivated by their fellow extremists who they make connections with. That's why we need internet platforms to work on preventing extremists from networking.

It could always happen again. Not enough has been changed for the better. These extremist groups and ideals seem to still be at large.

freddie gibbs fan
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Who is the "we" and who is the "they"?

  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021 and the ongoing polarization in this country.)
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?

The riots in Charlottesville happened because of a rise in right-wing extremism in America. Although far right groups have always existed, the Unite the Right rally gave them the confidence to shows themselves and their supporters. These groups grow best when they are given a platform to spread their ideas which is something that, in my opinion, we must stop. As to why the fascists resorted to violence and eventually murder, I would guess that they were scared and intimidated by counter protests. Perhaps they wanted to demonstrate their ability to be violent or gain national notoriety and therefore fame. I would describe the phenomenon at Charlottesville as right-wing populism and fascism because of its "us vs them" rhetoric. At a basic level the right wingers are there to protest the taking down of a confederate statue and the counter-protests are for taking it down. However the motivations symbolize much more and overall themes in American politics. The right wingers are there to demonstrate their force which is a clear act of populism as they try to gain more popular support from America as they portray themselves as the "common man". Something like this can and will happen again. I does every year at CPAC Conventions, just without the casualities.

purplehibiscus
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8
This is happening and becoming more frequent as more people get comfortable because they have the support of prominent public figures. These people feel supported by the policeand supported by our fromer president because of this they aren't worried about being punished for what they're doing and its clear from the videos weve seen they aren't doing much. Barely anyone was charged who went to Charlottesville. January 6th was a result of nothing happening to the people who were at Charlottesville, they were brutally attacking people and getting away easily, Charlottesville gave many the confidence to storm the capitol. January 6th has pushed their movement even farther, if they could get away with storming the capital what else could they get away with. The people in Charlottesville were motivated by their racist ideolegies. They attacked people in an attempt to show how strong they were and to make people afraid. They wanted to be in charge and make people listen to them. Something like January 6th or worse could definitely happen. People are becoming more and more brazen. They are forming groups like we saw in the private discord messages and organizing attacks. They now know they likely won't get in trouble and they know they're supported by our government. What happened in Charlottesville and all over the country was horrible and it will continue to happen as the white supremacists and neo - nazis gain more and more confidence.
Augustus_Gloop
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

How "We" Alienate Each Other

To start, I would like to pose a question. What would you do if an actively racist, neo-nazi, white supremesict was standing directly in front of you and a group of your friends. Now imagine if there was an entire group of them and you were already in a politically charged environment. How would you interact? Would it be amiable? Now, while that is a very easy question to answer, we still look at the riot in Charlottesville negatively. So now I would like to discuss why it happened the way it did.

First I want to bring up the fact that we tend to take the most extreme versions of a political strata and assume everyone in that group is that way. Every side throughout the history of politics has done this, because it's very easy to look at someone you disagree with and instantly assume the worst. However I don't think people are always as extreme as we make them out to be. That's why I think what happened in Charlottesville is even more tragic. Because of the violence that happened on this day, liberals tend to assume that republicans are more violent than they truly are, and the same goes vice versa. We look at the riots and say :"All Republicans are dressing up with skull masks and beating people up," when this school of thought only leads to further radicalization.

I think in order for us as Americans to reach a consensus, we must de-radicalized and reach a more moderate conclusion. While I will never compromise certain ideas, it is important to understand that it is impossible to get everything we want. So, when we discuss with other political parties, we must remain respectful. Otherwise, their view of the opposing side will become more and more radical, and events such as Charleotsville will happen again. However, if things continue the way they are going now, than I think another riot like the one we saw is inevitable.



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