What is wrong with the following scenario? Mr. and Mrs. Jones have three children. Over the course of a week, each of the children leaves his or her shoes lying in the middle of the living room floor. Mr.and Mrs. Jones ignore the first child’s messiness rationalizing that she is in the middle of finals. Mr. and Mrs. Jones excuse the second child’s carelessness because his girlfriend just broke up with him and he’s feeling down. Mr. and Mrs. Jones confiscate the third child’s shoes, berating her for being so sloppy.
You don’t have to be a parenting expert or in favor of shoes being left lying around to recognize that something is off-kilter in the above family. That is why I was not upset by President Trump’s tweet following the criminal car-ramming in Virginia on Saturday, August 13. While the President was lambasted for initially condemning hatred and violence “on many sides” rather than singling out white supremacists, I didn’t take it that way.
Granted, I have no idea what goes on in President Trump’s mind and I don’t think that we are exactly “kindred spirits,” but wasn’t ready to jump on the indictment bandwagon. In fact, once emotions of the day have subsided, I wish he would give a serious, thoughtful speech explaining that there is a problem when marginalized people on one end of a spectrum are used to condemn large groups of Americans.
Here is a quote from one newspaper article about the gathering that ended in violence. “The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and another arrived to protest the racism.” In other words, wanting a statue of Robert E. Lee to remain where it has stood for many years is inherently racist. No! It is not. It may be something that should be challenged and discussed, but ascribing racism as the only reason for opposing the statue’s removal is wrong. Was the side General Lee chose during the Civil War a side that supported slavery? Yes. But it is a sad comment on the lack of education, wisdom and discernment on the part of people today that we aren’t able to handle the complexities that surrounded the heinous sin of slavery amidst other issues including states’ rights. Maybe a generation that gets their political understanding from late night entertainment shows should grow up before demanding an overthrow of history?
In a country where we hear the comment, “His motives are unknown,” when someone yells Allahu Akbar while murdering people and where those who speak of killing all white people or who attack people because they’re white get no media attention, there seems to be only one association that leads to immediate and virulent condemnation. I’m certainly not in favor or neo-Nazis or white supremacists. But, something is wrong with a scenario that not only sees them as the only violent or hateful people in America, but wantonly includes millions of upstanding citizens among their number. In America today, child #1 gets away with anything as does child #2. Only child #3 is criticized. All the time.
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