Charlottesville: When will this end?

Posted on 29 August 2017 by Ian Schrauth

Finding a solution to hate speech

 

By: Tania Robin
Staff Writer

 

The protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee on Aug. 11, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia was supposed to be peaceful. But the protesters came in army-like gear carrying weapons with swastikas, Confederate flags, chanting and giving nazi salutes. These  threatening and violent behaviors seemed out of place at a so-called peaceful protest.

Watching the live media coverage, I was horrified and enraged by the neo-nazis and white supremacists. Knowing that we have people so full of hate in our country makes me feel repulsed and horrified. Hearing those crowds screaming and shouting “Jews won’t replace us!” was beyond disturbing.The hate speech used in the protests by these groups is only one way they threaten other groups.

There is a solution to hate speech, and that is to speak out against hate, to come together in larger numbers supporting tolerance than intolerance.n

This event hit me on a personal level. I feel less secure because I am Hispanic, and a person of color. I feel threatened knowing there are potentially violent groups of people out there who aren’t afraid to declare their intolerance. Just seeing them in the media is terrifying.

When I look at the history of hate in the world, specifically in our country, I think about  how  we should be opposing it. I’m afraid of this hatred escalating and becoming more widespread. History tends to repeat itself. That’s why I am concerned for the future; not just my own but the future of America. There are hate groups in every state. I know because this is tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). They provide statistics which show hate groups located in every state in our country.

Diversity in our country is important to all citizens, which is why hate groups pose a problem to what we consider our core American morals. Events like what happened in Charlottesville are threatening our democracy. This impacts the
security of citizens who are of different races and religions. I don’t want to see racism and prejudice continue growing in our diverse country.

As an STLCC student, as a woman, as a feminist and just as a human, how could I not be affected by all the awful violence that’s happening in our country? Right now it feels as if our society is moving backwards. This hatred impacts everyone, not just those being singled out or attacked. When one individual is attacked we are all affected. Hate ultimately kills; this is true both historically and recently. After all, we are a diverse campus full of unique, open-minded individuals. Let’s start respecting others and  speaking out against hate  and violence.

 

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