“If you’re not outraged, You should be” by Anonymous
A Child of Immigrants
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s as the daughter of an immigrant was quite easy. Italians had finally become accepted, albeit the stigma of being in the Mafia. We grew up in a very diverse neighborhood and so many languages were spoken. We were, essentially, color blind. Was it right to be color blind? Probably not. Actually, I know now, because of the current divide, that being colorblind is not the way to live through life.
My parents didn’t live in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement, they came later on in the 1970’s and didn’t know how different this country was just a decade before. As they learned the history of America and became American Citizens, they understood what People of Color, Hispanics, Italians, and other immigrants suffered at the hands of White Nationalists. My father always voted Democrat, he believed in the rights of the citizens. Makes sense, after growing up in a Fascist country.
His words, “Always vote Democrat” have never rung clearer than they do today. Over the past year, we have witnessed this country become more divided than it has ever been — and trust me we all know how divided it was. Today we have more families being separated by deportation, more racial profiling, more discrimination, and probably just as much violence as witnessed in the 1950’s through the 1960’s. The person currently residing in the White House, who was voted by the “Silent Majority” has perpetuated and incited without an inkling of denunciation the White Nationalists, KKK, and other domestic terror groups into action.
Living in the Current Divide
This past weekend proved just how dire the situation is in America. It has shown the calamity of racial war, of bigotry, and xenophobia. A woman my age — 32 years old — was run over and left to die by an Alt-right extremist. Trump, in an effort to condemn what had happened in Charlottesville, said that the bigotry and hatred were “on many sides, on many sides.”
No, Mr. Trump, it is not on many sides. It is on the side of the people who have endorsed you, who have voted for you.
A president who cannot bring himself to say this immediately and unequivocally squanders any claim to moral leadership.
As a nation, it is quite visible that the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville is a culmination of repressed hatred towards a people — a people who look and worship differently from them.
Today Mr. Trump said, “They came charging at us…” this is the evidence we all needed to know for certain which side of history he is truly on. He then proceeded to say that “both sides are to blame.”
“All Donald Trump had to do was stop talking. Instead, he made his Charlottesville controversy vastly worse with the worst presidential press conference ever.” – Steve Benen
In a country where hatred is so imminent, so present, a leader, a President should be condemning it, rather than applaud it. He should be fighting to put an end to this bigotry that he has incited since the day he announced his campaign.
I Will Not Sit Idly By
I can not in good conscience sit idly by as this country destroys itself from within. As a woman, a child of immigrants, I can not just let this happen. I will stand on the right side of history and will fight for the rights and freedom of my fellow humans. I will fight against the hate and the racism. I will fight to put an end to these domestic terrorists.
I will not let my Black friends anguish alone.
I will not let my Jewish friends reel in the same sense of doom that their grandparents felt.
I will not let my Hispanic friends fight deportation alone.
I will not let my Muslim friends be denied a life of opportunity alone.
I will not let my Gay friends fight for their rights alone.
I will not let my Transgender friends walk into a bathroom in fear alone.
I WILL NOT SIT IDLY BY.
I will extend my hand, my influence, my voice, my fists even to fight to bring this country back from its own destruction. My parents did not leave their fascist country to come and live in another one.
To sit and stay quiet, to not say or do anything, to not offer to help, to not lend a hand and truly get involved is to allow and endorse what is happening.
To not do anything is to say it’s okay to continue killing and profiling People of Color and Hispanics.
To not do anything is saying it’s okay for Neo-Nazi, White Nationalists, White Supremacists, and the KKK to push for another Holocaust.
To not do anything is saying that you agree to withhold equal rights.
What Can You Do
What you can do is simple and hard. You can ask your neighbor to help them. Ask how you can serve them. Ask how you can help ease the pain.
You can ask questions and do research. You can learn more, and you can re-educate yourself on what it means to be an American.
You can march and protest. You can attend rallies and hold signs.
You can support your fellow humans by just sitting with them and talking and listening to them.
You can report hate crime and inciteful hate speech. You can fight back.
You can unequivocally repute Mr. Trump, his supporters, and all of the hate groups that stand with him.
Most importantly you can admit your part in this calamity.
You can accept that it has been you, us, we who have allowed all of this to transpire. It was us who have not spoken up or acted out. It was us who feared to use our voices and our influence.
As for me, I will continue to fight and stand up for the rights and freedom of all of my brothers and sisters. What will you do? Will you join me and others in the fight to end racism, bigotry, homophobia, and xenophobia? Will you join me and others to put an end to domestic terror? You have the choice and the power.