On No Sides…

On no sides is genocide an ok thing to promote with your free speech or to organize a group around.

On no sides is the Confederacy, the sole purpose of which was to defend the institution of slavery, a thing to be admired.

On no sides is the eradication of Nazis and the KKK a slippery slope to the end of free speech in our country.  It is perfectly right and acceptable for a society to draw lines–to point to levels of despicable behavior and say “No–in no uncertain terms.  No way.  Not here.”  We certainly do this around the abuse of children.  These things do not belong in any kind of healthy, functioning society.  They have no more right to be here than anyone would suggest that cancer cells are a living part of your body that deserve a home.  I’m perfectly ok if a corporation decides that don’t want to be in the business of working with the Daily Stormer–and no, telling a Jewish software developer that they don’t have to work for a company protecting Nazi websites is in no way anywhere near the same as saying it’s ok for a florist not to do the flowers at a gay wedding.  If you think that a hate site promoting genocide is on the same level as two people who come together because they love each other, I’m at a loss for words for you.

Millions of patriots have already lost their lives in our history fighting these kinds of cancers–cancers that grew or persisted far too long because we didn’t draw the kinds of lines that a healthy society should draw.  They didn’t die on the beaches at Normandy to allow Nazis to march on our streets here.  They didn’t die at Gettysburg to see Confederate soldiers memorialized in our parks.  To argue that removing these groups and movements is desecrating history would be to desecrate the memories of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting us from them.  

Let’s talk for a moment about false equivalency and the agenda of the right.  There is a narrative that stretches as far back as slavery itself that blacks are angry, savage, and need to be checked.  Even when the law said we were all equal, our society went down a path of “Yeah, but let’s keep them over here.”  The country needed a savage narrative to justify that–and it persists today.  Countless media studies have proven that the images we see of people of color in the media are disproportionately skewed.  “Whites represented 43% of homicide victims in the local news, but only 13% of homicide victims in crime reports. And while only 10% of victims in crime reports were whites who had been victimized by blacks, these crimes made up 42% of televised cases.”  

When someone tells you that Black Lives Matter is a hate group and uses police shootings in Dallas as their proof, get smart about their agenda and the facts: 

1) First, the Dallas police shooter was not associated with Black Lives Matter.  He interacted with other extremist groups on social media, but not BLM.  

2) Second, the BLM movement has been quick to denounce racially charged violence, unlike the hate groups protesting in Charlottesville where *leaders* of these groups have, on multiple occasions, supported or praised the death of Heather Heyer.  

3) Third, just look at the reasons why these groups exist.  Black Lives Matter started after the acquittal of a man charged with killing an innocent black teen. It was *in response* to violence against black people.  There’s no equivalent origin story around white supremacy–of whites being oppressed or being unfairly treated that any rational person would give equivalence to.

4) It has been shown that stories of mass violence on behalf of BLM protestors are either inaccurate anecdotes or cherry picked stories of what winds up being self-defense.  People think they’ve seen lots of images of angry BLM protestors when the reality is that hundreds of peaceful protests go on in its name with no incidents whatsoever.  The same cannot be said for white nationalism gatherings.  

It’s all too easy, though, for working class whites to accept the narrative of angry masses of African Americans pitched against them in opposition.  It’s the culmination of the media narratives they’ve grown up consuming–narratives driven by the agenda to keep working class people divided against each other.  Without division and fear, why would the masses of working class people ever cede the kind of power held by wealthy white people?  You’d never vote to allow corporations to run unchecked or for the gap between the rich and the poor to grow so large unless it was bundled with a set of fear driven policies meant to keep “law and order” by unfairly targeting and keeping down people of color, immigrants and other minorities. 

So while we tear ourselves apart, the rich are picking our pockets.

Slavery is like having a flood in your house.  You don’t just pump the water out and call it a day.  You have to throw out every single thing that got wet, otherwise you can get mold.  Slavery was just the water, and by ending it, all we did was get rid of the water.  It’s still damp, and we didn’t really throw anything out.  

You want to know what this kind of mold does to a society?  Read The New Jim Crow and watch 13TH.  Our society is sick from the mold of racial prejudice.  It’s in walls.  Read and watch.  I dare you to and not have your mind opened up just a little bit.

No matter how crappy you think your life is as a working class white person or how much more you deserve, people of color, on average, start out with less than you, have a more difficult time getting a job despite the same qualifications, get pulled over more than you, and get arrested and charged more often for lesser things.  It’s a stacked deck.  

For example, there’s no difference among drug use rates across races, but blacks get imprisoned for drugs six times more than whites.  

These aren’t made up facts like you or I may have heard on some cable news program.  They’re from real studies you can learn from reading a whole actual book–in fact, several of them.  

People may spit on CNN, but perhaps not getting 100% of your information from social media and cable news would be more productive.

It’s hard to attempt this conversation without going down lots of rabbit wholes and never quite feeling like you made the whole point you were trying to make.  These issues are so intertwined.  They touch the core of people’s identity and their skewed perceptions of the way things are.

If nothing else, I feel like I’m at a place where I’ve examined my views and been open to changing them in the face of new information.  That’s what strikes me about these arguments.  You see lots of examples of people with privilege opening their eyes to what they have, how they got it, and the unfairness of social systems.  

You don’t really see that too often on the other side–because generally the more you know, the more you realized that there aren’t sides to this.  

Only right and wrong.