Oh internet, we have such a love/hate relationship with you. So much information is available, and yet the status quo seems to be spreading misinformation and insulting strangers.
I hate the whole Left vs Right thing, but it seems the divide is getting greater every day. I would think common sense would rule out, and everyone could come together and just rally against hate. But I don't think anyone really knows who to hate or why. It seems everyone just wants to choose the lowest common denominator: Insulting strangers online.
We will NEVER agree on everything. There will never be 100% approval on any policy, or law that is passed, but there are some things in the world people need to start accepting, like it or not. And after recent events in Charlottesville Virginia, we need to figure this out sooner, rather than later.
So maybe we can all agree, nobody wants violence. Maybe in movies or video games, violence can be fun and often therapeutic. But in the real world, beating someone, destroying property, or running them over with a car is something that NOBODY wants. Seriously. ISIS and North Korea are sitting back and laughing as we prove what morons we really are by destroying ourselves. Does anyone remember: Divided we fall. And we are falling pretty hard lately.
So according to SOMEONE, there are "many sides". Both the left and right know this is pretty ludicrous. There is ONE side. Hate. But who hates who, and why so much?
After reading many (too many?) comments/insults from strangers online, I want to try to put both views into perspective. And like MANY of you, I am extremely unqualified to talk about any of this. But based on all I've read recently, let's look at the players involved in what will soon be known as our newest Civil War.
Civil War II: The Fight for Stupidity.
Nazis. I can't believe I'm actually saying this. Yes, Nazis. I'm sure you've seen the memes that call them out for being extremely un-American, and not patriotic. Yes, the entire world fought against them. That's why it was called WORLD War II. They were fascists. They believed in racial superiority, and enjoyed torturing and killing Jews. Today, we enjoy fighting against them in video games and movies. It's fun!
So what causes someone to legitimately accept this philosophy in America???
Well, they say they are NOT the same. They want control of America, not genocide. They call themselves NEO-Nazis. But in the end, it IS White Supremacy. The new KKK.
The events in Charlottesville began because a group called the Unite the Right (aka Alt-Right), wanted to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee. He was a general in the Confederate army during the first Civil War in America. His statue has been residing in "Lee Park" for some time now, and recently, they've decided to remove it. Oh and it's not called Lee Park anymore. Now it's Emancipation Park.
Why the change? Well, one reason is because the Confederate army had no problem with slavery. So the idea of having a General from that army honored so predominately in a public place, is quite disturbing if you've experienced racism in your life. Imagine how you might feel if for example your family was forcibly brought to the US as slaves long ago. Getting rid of this type of references in the US seems like a lot of common sense behavior. Sure we can study about them in history, and I think that's great. But having their statues on display could be uncomfortable for many people.
But wait...! Some people are offended about removing his statue! Apparently, they feel it is a matter of important history! They want to be proud, and and don't want to erase the past, and will tell you this is NOT about hate.
So, instead of just shrugging quietly at home and listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, they protest. Instead of trying to actually see things from another perspective, or trying to show any form of human compassion or empathy, they complain. They raise their Wal-Mart bought tiki torches high and cry about how oppressed they are and how they feel their rights are suddenly being taken from them. It's almost as if to say their white privilege is not important anymore. Suddenly, they feel the same thing that minorities in the US have felt for hundreds of years. And they can't take it. Weird.
For most sane people, this behavior is pretty disgusting. Nazis (or Neo-Nazis, or White Supremacy, or KKK) is the bottom of the food chain and this type of bigotry is not only ludicrous, it's nauseating. America is (supposedly) a land of freedom, for all races and religions... remember?
So people protest the protestors. Anti-protestors. Also called Antifa. The "Left".
Antifa is the newest way to say Anti-fascist. Someone who is against fascists.
A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
Yikes. That pretty much goes against the entire idea of a democratic society. But to be clear, I think America has become an Oligarchy. But that's a topic for another day.
So yes, being Antifa doesn't seem like such a bad thing, does it?
Here's where it gets fuzzy.
Let's look a bit deeper, and talk about a group called Black Lives Matter (BLM). Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about a LOT of police brutality/killing of unarmed black men in the last few years. In every incident, there is a lengthy trial for the police involved. And in every case, the police are found not guilty. So BLM was started to make a strong statement about this type of unfair treatment towards the black community. They want to clearly point a finger at the racism that still happens in America.
For some reason, the "Right" doesn't get it. They say ALL Lives Matter. And most recently, they are bold (and clueless) enough to say WHITE Lives Matter. It's like they just don't get it. And honestly... they don't. They don't feel the same racism or oppression that many in this country have felt for so long.
According to the "Right", they say BLM is a violent group! They have some knowledge of them rioting violently, and in every police incident (according to them), they have been resisting arrest, so the police were justified in their deadly actions (instead of... I don't know, subduing someone without killing them).
And the Alt-Right says the same thing about the incident in Charlottesville. "We were protesting peacefully, until Antifa and BLM arrived, because they hate first Amendment Free Speech so much!".
I've already seen things that said the driver that killed and injured many by slamming his car into the crowd, was apparently scared because of the Antifa attacking his car violently.
But I've also seen posted that he considers himself to proudly be Neo-Nazi.
So who threw the first punch?
Was it Antifa/BLM for violently opposing free speech because they don't like what you're saying and it's "fun" to punch a Nazi?
Was it White Supremacists because they have an extremely violent history against others when they don't like something and think they should control it all?
Was it NRA for putting out a video clearly saying that "if you don't like us, we will fight against you"?
Was it the guy online insulting strangers, who enjoys calling someone a "Libtard", or "Snowflake", or idiot, or any list of other common insults I've read?
Was it some idiot wannabe politician separating us and them, having rallys about you can punch them in the face if they disagree with you?
Does it matter who's fault it is anymore?
This is America 2017. I don't want to get into the politics of it all, but I'm sure everyone can easily see that also has a big influence over how people are feeling. We do need leaders who can bring us together, and not talk about us and them and "many sides".
I encourage EVERYONE to actually read these comments from both sides. It can be painful sometimes. But the moment you start insulting someone, you have no defense. Pay attention. Use common sense. Have some empathy. Educate yourself. Research things before posting/sharing. And when you have nothing else... accept they could be correct. Because the moment you start lashing out at strangers, they stop listening to you, which just builds more hate. You aren't educating them. At that point, YOU are part of the problem.
Good luck and stay safe out there kids,