How Americans react to social issues
In the last couple of weeks, America saw yet another social conflict. What started as a disturbing, but simple rally in Charlottesville Virginia quickly escalated to a national cover story. Part 1 featured a torchlight march on a Friday night lead by White Nationalists with local students. That ended with a small skirmish with 30 counter-protesters from University of Virginia. Both sides suffered injuries. That lead to the “Unite the Right” rally on that Saturday. Most of the fascist groups were armed with shields, clubs, and guns. Counter-protesters joined by local residents, members of church groups, and civil rights leaders arrived as well. The third group of people to arrive were a civilian militia group armed with semiautomatic rifles and pistols. Virginia State Police and Charlottesville police were stationed along the sides and the rear of Emancipation Park, but left some areas unprotected. When the two main groups started fighting and spraying chemicals, the police had to rush back to get anti-riot gear. Afterwards, police broke up the violence. Then reports came out that a man ran over counter-protesters. This is the car attack that everyone is aware of.
So what now?
So all of this reopened the race conversation in America. What we learned is that the fringe groups that hid in the shadows of our society were not afraid to step out. Dylann Roof wasn’t just a lone act that we can pass over. These groups are here and we have to deal with them. We also saw more athletes protesting during the national anthem. Again, we have people saying statements like, “This isn’t the place for that.”
What is the minimum any of us should care about something that doesn’t “directly” affect us?
Should we even care at all? Do we just live our lives? Well, I think we should care at least a little bit. Sure, I don’t think you have to physically be at a protest, but we should at least speak out against intolerance and injustices through voting and through our dollar. We are all interconnected, whether you believe this or not. Sure, it may seem like our actions don’t effect others, but every action (or inaction) directly effects the people around you. You voting to pass road construction. You driving while drunk. You pumping your brakes in traffic. All of these things are examples of your actions effecting others. We have the freedom of speech in this country, but we also have to put damaging words and harmful actions in check. We can’t value freedom of speech over the lives of people.
Part of my job is to point out areas in our culture where we can improve. I did that with Episode 9 when I talked about sex in our culture. It has been 241 years since this country was created. For 241 years we’ve had certain demons that, as a country, we still need to deal with. If actions aren’t made, we could see another 241 years of this same crap.
Here is the segment from Medulla Talk Episode 14
To read more about the Charlottesville events, Click here.
For more information on the guy that ran over the counter-protesters: Click here.
Make sure to comment your thoughts below!