According to senior fuck-head Julian Assange James Fields “is a suspected white supremacist picking up terrorism tips from ISIS (crowd ramming).” To claim #ThisIsNotUs is to co-sign the deception that white supremacy, white nationalism and neo-nazis are a fringe element of American life and not occupying key positions in the current White House administration. To entertain #ThisIsNotUs works to deflect accountability for the fact the people participating freely in that rally are everyday people, with families, neighbours and co-workers, who have been radicalised into believing the lies of white supremacy, that America belongs to white people and white people alone. #ThisIsNotUs stops white people doing the work of dismantling white supremacy in their homes, in their schools and allows white people fearful of the prospect of the labour and heavy lifting necessary to engage with the people they love and know who harbour hatefulness, expecting to leave this very real, very hard work to black and brown people.
You lot’s favourite trope in times of violence Dr Martin Luther King Jnr warned against lukewarm responses in times of racial crisis. In ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ on April 16th 1963, Dr King wrote “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"…” I propose, along with many others on Twitter, white people finally reconcile with the reality every single act of violence that took place in Charlottesville is American. Denial will only allow the hatefulness to thrive. To continue to ease your collective consciousness with empty hashtags instead of actively combatting white supremacist beliefs your loved ones hold dear will see California’s food crops rot in perpetuity because your president’s hate speech and immigration policies alienate the migrant workers you need to farm your land. Be honest about the history of racialised violence in America; it’s as old as the birth of your nation.
Why am I so passionate about #ThisIsNotUs when I live in Britain? As Kelechi said on Twitter early Saturday morning “to all the white Brits watching what's happening in Charlottesville and saying "at least we're not that bad!" Spoiler alert: you are.” Fifty-two percent of Britain voted to leave the European Union after a campaign based on fear, racism and xenophobia. According to the Independent “The number of hate crimes recorded by regional police forces rose by up to 100 per cent in the months following the Brexit vote…” And guess who the victims were? That’s right folks, brown and black people. So, excuse me Lady Gaga I cannot afford to be complacent, blindly retweeting #ThisIsNotUs. And I get it, I really do, Holy books speak of covering hatred with love but in this instance, you are inadvertently disallowing your nation room to dig up the this rotting tree, investigate the roots in order to locate the issue and genuinely pursue the effective combination of solutions you so desperately seek. There is hope for the rehabilitation of those with these racist mind-sets. Shazia Awan of the BBC interviewed Arno Michaelis, a former white supremacist who now works to change those who, like him, bought into the lie. Do not stand in the way of the de-radicalisation and re-education work that needs to take place in order for this cycle to end.
Own it. Then pass the mic and use your platform to boost the voices of those equipped with the solutions.
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