After President Trump attempted to equalize the White supremacist protesters and counter protestors with his words in the now famous vehicular homicide at the protests in Charlottesville, VA, I was perplexed and somewhat amused by different people’s reactions.
I was disappointed by Trump’s comments that he made from the lobby of Trump Tower but not shocked. It’s as if some people forgot that America was founded on racism and that racism is still very strong in America institutionally and socially.
Racism was written into the constitution (Blacks were 3/5 a person) and the brutal chattel slavery of Blacks was legal. The first President George Washington was a racist and upheld slavery and so did President Thomas Jefferson. So, Trump was right about one thing; If we took down the Robert E. Lee statue, we would have to take theirs down too.
As a matter of fact I would argue that all presidents were racist, even up to recent times. President Reagan was a raging racist who introduced drugs into inner cities to destroy the Black community. President Clinton locked up more Black men than anyone with his legislation with laws like “3 Strikes.” We saw how President Bush Jr. handled the Hurricane Katrina situation. President Obama might be the only exception. But, after all, he’s Black. But even he could have done more for the African-American community. And, yes, I understand he faced considerable resistance, but, I digress.
People are acting so shocked that there is a White supremacist leading the White House when there has ALWAYS been one there. Our public leaders and some of our citizens just know how to hide their racism for fear of condemnation due to our hard fought civil rights progress.
America is a racist country. There’s no two ways about it. This country was founded and built on racism. It’s about time we began dismantling this physical abstraction. It is long overdue that we build a new America that lives up to its credo of liberty and justice for all. We should be living up to morals of loving one’s neighbor as we love ourselves. We should be a land where a man is “not judged by the color of his skin but by the content of his character,” as the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said. These racist monuments are not just an eyesore, to some. To many, they are a painful reminder of promises unfulfilled and so much wrong done. As long as these monuments stand, people will stand for racism in America. So, when it comes to tearing down statues of racist confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee and racist presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, I say tear them down. Tear them all down. And let’s build a new America where there is true equality.