Last weekend, riots broke out in Union Square, as well as Fifth Avenue, in New York City, upon news of Donald Trump’s arrival to his residence just a few steps away from Park Avenue.
If you haven’t been following the international political sphere, the riots in NYC were in response to the occurrence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Neo-nazis and Ku Klux Klan members gathered to protest the taking down of a certain Robert E. Lee statue. Said statue commemorated the Confederate general Lee, a civil war ‘hero’. What’s even funnier is that just a week before I, myself, was in this town and had no idea this was about to happen. News of the tragedy struck us during our stay in NYC.
I first experienced the NYC riots while I was sitting in a bus going to Greenwich Village, where a statue of a rat-like Trump was comfortably sitting across the Trump Tower in Fifth Avenue (and he’s never looked better, it humbled him). Of course, anyone who knows me would know that I was the first one to run towards the window, snap a picture and go on to post it with some meme-like caption to my Snapchat. However, I wasn’t the only one on the bus with a scathing distaste towards President 45. Behind me, sat a proud New Yorker, of course a democrat, with quite the distinguished opinion.
“No one wanted Trump in New York – his home city. People who knew him didn’t vote for him. People who didn’t know him, mostly in the South, voted for him. Shame.”
Why is everyone blaming Trump? The liberals are going too far.
Let me explain.
In Charlottesville, self-proclaimed Nazis took to the streets and tried to justify the acts of a Confederate general, who undeniably represents an oppressive period in the States’s history. Why would anyone want to commemorate acts of racism and slavery? You might argue that the Germans do the same thing with the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. However, the difference between the two countries is this; while Germany has acknowledged the horrors that went on in WWII and moved towards remedying the effects of its actions, certain states in America have not yet acknowledged monstrosities which went on a century before the Wars, that is, the 19th Century.
Although history is an essential part of one’s heritage, knowing what to idolise and what not to idolise is also a crucial factor. This is what most alt-right extremists fail to realise. Though I understand that times are changing, and that immigration is a real and tangible occurrence, being afraid of change is no reason to cause havoc and devastation. Nevertheless, what the Americans fail to remember is that most of them are immigrants too – no one of them is of a pure ‘Aryan’ race.
Most of the American people at the moment see Trump as the enemy. Trump’s failure to condemn the actions of these white supremacists is, amongst other reasons, perceived as an insult towards those veterans who sacrificed their lives in WWII. In his silence, and in his lack of clarity towards the issue, alt-righters took towards social media to congratulate the President for taking their side. Of course, in response to the alt-righters, what the conservatives view as the ‘alt-left’, took to the streets in Charlottesville too, dubbing their actions as an ‘anti-protest’. James Alex Field, Jr., plowed into a crowd of anti-protesters last Sunday. This resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32 year old legal assistant. She and 19 others, who are injured and some in critical condition, were victims of a car attack perpetrated by who, at his high-school, was known as “The Nazi”.
The ironic parallelism: Anne Frank, in the 1945, died at the hands of the Nazis. In 2017, Heather Heyer died at the hands of a Nazi too.
White supremacists, who somehow were almost all male, took to the streets to exhibit how their rights as white-individuals were being forsaken. It’s sad to think that these people, who have never known hatred towards their skin colour, think that the most miniscule of inconvenience means ‘oppression’. What’s even funnier is that it was Americans and Europeans alike who fought the Nazis in the war, to protect and safeguard equality and human rights. It’s true when they say that history has a tendency to repeat itself, but it seems that only the bad sort of history wants to.
Only five days later, Trump called their acts “repugnant” but, gave the blame to both sides. This of course, was picked up by former KKK leader David Duke, and went on to thank the president for ‘condemning leftist terrorists’. The KKK Grand Dragon nevertheless, went on to state that he is glad that Heyer is dead – the very same woman who died defending the likes of equality and tolerance.
Thanks Trump for choosing to remain neutral, in the face of a blatantly evil side (this is sarcasm, take note). Of course, unknowing of how to accept his wrongdoings and his immense sensitivity as a leader of one of the largest nations, Number 45 took to Twitter to express his hurt at the ‘fake news media’. No one told him that being the President of a country meant being exposed to harsh criticism by all sides, including senators and congressional members within his own Republican party, especially when you’ve screwed up royally.
Silence is what allowed the Nazis to carry on during WWII. Perhaps it’s time to stop history from continuing to repeat itself and, move towards suitable remedies for multicultural integration, instead of outwardly condemning an entire race and religion. Although I am aware of the terrorist attack in Barcelona, obliterating an entire race or religion is still not the ethical way to go. The people need answers, not hateful tantrums riling maniacs up whilst posing no plausible solution.