Let's Talk About Charlottesville

 PHOTO CREDIT: ANTHONY S. KAREN

PHOTO CREDIT: ANTHONY S. KAREN

     The Klan is alive--

     And apparently well… Well enough, at least.

     The American-born *terrorist group, the Ku Klux Klan pulled up in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month in protest of the motion to take down some recently vandalized Confederate statues. Around 1000 protesters from the Charlottesville area came out to peacefully protest against a smooth 30-50 Klan members, fully decked out in their traditional wizard robes, dripping with their token propaganda of the past.

     The independent Charlottesville Klan chapter was on the scene for less than an hour in the face of the revolution, but they were thoroughly protected (and escorted to and fro) by the Charlottesville Police Department. As Klan members began to drive away from the ironically named “Justice Park," the “counterprotestors” tried to keep them from escaping; the event resulted in police using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd-- a tactic becoming all too familiar at these peaceful protests-- and 23 arrests-- also familiar.

     Damn, this is all sounding familiar.
 
     Mayor Mike Signer-- white, Christian, Democrat (just in case you were wondering)-- advised citizens of Charlottesville to avoid protesting the Klan. In an attempt to dissuade citizens from committing to action against the Klan, city officials held nearly a dozen events throughout the city promoting ideals of inclusion, diversity, and unity. These events, ranging from “historical activities” at the African American Heritage Center to picnics and concerts, seemed to aim at family fun and safety. Who would want to bring their kid to a Klan rally, right? 

      I’m sure this proved to work out great for all the parents of young children and closeted racists. I really do. Aside from the latter, I can understand a parent not wanting to expose a young spirit to that hate, but at the same time, they (the hoods and the badges) are killing children out here (Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Jordan Edwards to name a few). I can see where the mayor and his city officials’ intentions lie; it’s kind of like a whining toddler or the loudest person at the party: if you don’t give them any attention, they’ll just stop. However, when we you have two factions on opposite sides of the right to live equally and peacefully, you can’t fear reaching the root of the problem. 

     What do we do when we’re living in a society where those that are supposed to protect you bleed into those that want to harm you?