It was August 13, 2017 that James Alex Fields plowed his car throw a crowd of people protesting against the hate and racism that domestic terrorist white supremacist groups were attempting to spread in Charlottesville. For many, August 13th feels like yesterday; for many more, August 13th felt like just another day in America.
To that end, there is nothing new about racism in America. Nothing. The mere notion of America being a country without racism is absurd considering the fact that it was stolen from the Natives and built by slaves. All Donald Trump has done is given the endorsement of the highest office in the land where engaging in openly racist behavior is concerned.
Therefore, when a group in San Diego decided to gather to celebrate the rich heritage of brown Americans of Latino(a) and African descent in that community, it wasn’t a surprise that racist white supremacist “patriots” showed up to crash what was supposed to be a peaceful and happy occasion. Billed as the Solidarity Gathering, the event was held on Saturday in San Diego’s historic Chicano Park:
Designed to do nothing more than celebrate the rich history of the diversity of the park and surrounding community, event organizers were clear about their intentions:
They weren’t there to protest, be combative, or otherwise ruffle any feathers. For too long racist, supremacist, Nazi, and other hate groups have been able to move through spaces with no opposition. By all accounts, this event was simply designed to let hate mongers know that the park is no space for that kind of hate and that there are some people who will gather without fear of presence from the domestic terrorists who aim to bully.
With something to prove, a few right wingers did show up. Armed with a message that sounded like one of the claims of reverse racism, which isn’t really a thing, the opposing group wasn’t there to tour the murals, discuss the cultural significance of the park, or have a peaceful lunch. They were there to start trouble.
Determined not to allow the event turn into Charlottesville, the hundreds gathered in the name of peace made it clear that they weren’t backing down from the supremacists. When the attendees of the “Patriotic Picnic” sat down with a box of pizza, a group from the Solidarity Gathering approached to let the “patriots” know that drama wouldn’t be tolerated. The “patriots” ended up being escorted away by police.
According to the right-wing group’s organizer, Roger Ogden, his goal was to “show what kind of thugs and criminals they are.”
Oddly enough, in the spirit of they can dish it out, but can’t take it, a member of the Patriotic Picnic party took to Twitter to express his/her sentiments about how the group was treated:
“Attacked by a mob,” where? When? By all accounts there were no physical altercations; the self-proclaimed “patriots” simply weren’t able to spread their message of hate. Is that the “civil rights” violation being referred to? If so, the tweeter may want to do more research into what it means for one to have his/her “civil rights violated.”
A local news channel’s full report on the events that transpired may be found here.
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