By Richard Ray:
Far too often, I feel the need to begin an article with a disclaimer. “This is not about politics or your political views” has lead several times. I realize that it is a (lame) attempt to have people who are probably already entrenched in a mindset to keep an open mind, but who am I kidding, part of the divisiveness that exists in the United States today is because you have far too many people, and yes in this case truly on both sides, who have no ability or willingness to hear an intelligent discourse on any issue that they have an emotional connection.
The fact that people may have differing personal and political opinions and ideology should be both understood and respected. However, what should not be misunderstood is that there are actually objective standards to right and wrong and that is particularly true when it comes to issues dealing with social injustice.
You cannot call yourself the Land of the Free and consider your Constitution and its Amendments as the word of Law for the land but conveniently ignore or selectively chose which people should be fully and adequately protected by laws based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. A simple reminder: when the US Constitution was written for all intent and purposes it was only written for the protection of White males. Blacks were not considered whole people and women were basically an afterthought with little specific protections given initially. The right for women to vote did not occur until an act by Congress in 1919 in the 19th Amendment which still took over a year to finally be ratified in 1920.
White Supremacy is wrong. White Nationalism that supports White Supremacy, discrimination and hate is equally wrong. Yet, somehow, emboldened by a president and his administration that uses purposefully ambiguous language, and other times clearly supportive rhetoric, White Nationalists/Supremacists are more emboldened.
This is not about free speech, and even if you think it is, then it is about freely speaking up and against hate and discrimination. Yet, somehow the Trump Administration has made the conscious choice to not only not clearly and definitively denounce White Nationalism and other hate groups, but somehow make it politically incorrect and wrong for others to speak out against these groups without being called violent, disruptive, un-American and ironically divisive if not actually criminal.
I am not suggesting that counter protesting against hate groups should be violent or outside the bounds of the law, but to in any way suggest that counter-protesters who are intentionally assaulted by hate groups or mowed down intentionally by one of the hate group participants are actually or equally responsible because they were vocal in protesting hate. That is such a warped sense of reality and right from wrong.
If you do not speak out against hate and discrimination, you are in effect condoning it. I know that is a leap for some, but you are actively supporting White Nationalism and hate groups when you somehow condemn those that speak out against them or even attempt to deflect by somehow grouping protesters of social injustice in the same category as the perpetuators of discrimination, hate and oppression.
There are many that are violently opposed to Colin Kaepernick because he refused to stand for the national anthem in part out of protest for police violence against unarmed minorities. I do not have a problem with anyone having an issue with his choice of protest, but that issue should not override the same concern and focus you may have on the issue he is in fact protesting. Those people that are writing letters to the teams threatening to boycott and calling for Jemele Hill to be fired from ESPN for speaking out seem only concerned with the audacity of the messenger instead of with the actual message being disseminated.
Wrong is sometimes clear and objective. Speaking out against wrong, non-violently and within legal channels is never… wrong. I understand that a White Nationalist could try and use this same logic to defend their position, but again I am talking about clear and totally objective wrongs and hate and discrimination normally clearly falls within that framework.
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