Grappling with a Sickening Day in U.S. History

Some good news first: The Helena City Commission in Helena, Montana has directed staff to remove a confederate memorial. This piece of good news was very much needed.

I haven’t been able to find words to describe the Neo-Nazi, KKK and other white supremacist events in Charlottesville, it’s just so sickening. This Vice video  (below) about the violent and racist rally is an important view if you haven’t seen it already. (What is especially sickening is the neutral reaction of the man supposed to be leading our country. He’ll have strong words and opinions about things like the media, Nordstrom’s not carrying his daughters brand but THIS he can’t outright condemn without flip-flopping?  Disgusting.)

The rally was beyond abhorrent. How can we get through to people who have so much racism and bigotry? One major source of the problem as I see it is the mass -miss-information that is being spread through fear in shows like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s show. (Just to give you an idea of the content of his show, white supremacists like former Grand Wizard, David Duke love his show.) When a massive amount of Americans are swallowing down illogical and fear-mongoring news, slowly but surely, it breeds a populous that votes for people like Trump and allows racism (and sexism) to be alive and well. If we impeach Trump, not only would Pence become president, but the next demagogue could be voted in, thanks to the masses being mis-educated and fear-inflicted by “news” like Fox News, Breitbart, and the Daily Stormer. In Rwanda, the genocide was fed in large part because the radio hosts perpetuated hatred towards ‘other’ groups. It’s a very serious example of what manipulation of information can do: The power of fear-mongering about different people in news cannot be understated. It is important to be aware of the impact of the spread of information.

What is the solution? First, we must educate ourselves, take care of ourselves and take care of one another. But that isn’t enough. I’m afraid passive kindness isn’t going to solve the problem of such bigotry in our country. What will? We need compassionate, strong policies protecting the people, strong leaders standing up for what is right and a compassionate and accurately informed populous. But there is so much more that we must do and so much farther to go.

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