White privilege is being able to engage in racist acts of domestic terror that violate local, state, and federal laws against hate crimes, and having your head of state enable your actions via his own lack of action. No one really wants to talk about that, though. In reality, no one should have to talk about it.
It’s hard to believe that in 2017, this conversation even needs to take place. We’re still talking about the role that government plays in adding fuel to the fire burning in the hearts and minds of racists. It’s hard because the Jim Crow laws that once made racism legal don’t vary much from many Trump-era policies.
However, these are indeed the times that the Trump administration has ushered in.
With the “many sides” approach to conversations about racism and associated acts has come the need for the legislative branch to step in and do what Donald Trump won’t. Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both of Virginia, in partnership with Republicans Cory Gardner (CO), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Johnny Isakson (GA), sponsored a resolution that takes a firm stance against the acts that took place in Charlottesville, while “rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.”
It’s not abnormal for the Senate to address nonbinding measures that remember people and institutions with resolutions. However, supporters of the Charlottesville resolution purposely chose to propose it together. That will force Donald Trump to sign it into law.
Sen. Warner introduced the resolution by saying:
‘Let there be no mistake: what happened in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a white supremacist, one that tragically cut short the life of a young woman, Heather Heyer, who was speaking out against hatred and bigotry. We will be pressing our colleagues to swiftly and unanimously approve this resolution in order to send a strong message that the United States Congress unconditionally condemns racist speech and violence.’
Warner wasn’t the only one with strong words. Sen. Kaine added:
‘During the violent white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville last month, our country lost three brave Virginians in Heather Heyer and Virginia State Police officers, Lieutenant Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke Bates. This resolution honors their lives while supporting the Charlottesville community as it heals and rightfully calls on us all, including President Trump, to do better as we combat acts of hate.’
The resolution honors the victims and survivors of the deadly events that took place. But it also condemns the hate groups responsible for instigating the violence. The five-page document also encourages the Trump administration to “use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.”
Many think Donald Trump is making “America great again” by normalizing and validating hate and racism. If that’s the case then surely the country was never great to begin with. As long as he fails to take a stand against bigoted violence, he’s just as guilty as those engaging in acts of domestic terrorism.
Featured Image screengrab via YouTube.
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