I've seen protests before, but something about this is different. I've seen riots before, but something about this seems more targeted. I've seen racism fight to survive and scurry under the blanket of conservatism, patriotism and the Republican Party's core beliefs. We've all seen angry crowds over injustice, but something about this feels different. What I haven't seen is people, young and old, rich and poor, white, black and all shades in between, expose the racist ideas that exist under the umbrellas of conservatism, patriotism and the Republican party and actively dismantle them one by one.
I know something different is happening. The country knows something different is happening. Just look at how the racist narrative has changed. Racists are feeling a heat and uncomfortable pressure that has them showing their cards prematurely. I knew when Trump took office that white nationalism would become the predominant trend in our political culture and as much as it angered me to hear these people, I knew it was imperative that I continue to watch them. In my heart I watched this day unfold time and time again. I watched as many of them have declared that these protests are the beginning of a "race war". But this is not a race war. Look around you. This is a war on racism. They know it, they feel the walls closing in around them and the call for a "race war" is a desperate cry for allies. It's so obvious, those that are focused on the protest and the anger are only trying to draw attention from the injustice gripping the nation.
I can now sit back and see the scared little children they actually are. The coward that brandishes his weapon as he shops at the local Walmart has realized that the silent majority that are against racism are not so silent anymore and that they too have weapons but aren't so cowardly that they need to shop at the local food market with them displayed. If they think for one minute that Blacks and their allies in this war on racism are going to sit back as they promote their ideology, they're sadly mistaken. Those days are over. This is a "By Any Means Necessary" group.
The country now finds itself at a crossroads. A country forced to confront the hypocrisy of promoting itself as the beacon of light for the entire world yet still unable to confront it's own demons of systemic racism and an unequal scale of justice for people of color. Anyone that knows anything about correcting inappropriate behavior, know full well the fight that is still ahead. The benefactors of this inequitable system are about to put forth a fight for their very existence. Things will inevitably appear to get worse. Reshaping hundreds of years of learned and condoned behavior will not be easy. But as I have already said, there is something different about this energy.
Maybe Trump was just what this country needed for change. Maybe a man with no respect for any of our institutions is just what we needed to embolden the racists among us to step out of the shadows and show the good people among us that they did exist, and that a fight needs to take place. The fact of the matter is that from the minute Obama was elected, good meaning white Americans declared racism dead. They, and some blacks, were effectively lulled into a false sense of security by the euphoria of the moment. How is it that a country that elected its first black President could slip into the state we find ourselves in just three short years later.
We collectively let our guard down. We didn't realize that racism had been cultivating in the underbelly of a conservative right wing movement during those eight years. While we were taking our victory lap they were planning for the after party and like so many parties, the after party often makes the biggest splash. We never believed that a Trump was even remotely possible because we believed that most people were at least decent folk and that our strong institutions would keep an ill-intentioned president in check. Well, what we have discovered was that our institutions were a lot more fragile then we imagined. We neglected to realize that while most people are probably not racist, for a great majority its not a deal breaker either. Frankly stated, their political agenda is more important then fighting systemic racism.
The revolution has begun but this time it will be televised for all to see. Because of social media, we have a written history of those that chose fascism and racism. Whether they claim to be racist or not, you now know what side your neighbors, coworkers and friends took. They will never be allowed back from where they have descended to. We know them, we see them and when you asked them to stand with you, they abandoned you. But, if you've ever doubted the beauty of this country just look to your left and right at your next protest. That is the America that elected Obama, that is the American idea that black veterans envisioned when they went to war for a country that hated them and that is the America that Blacks, Whites and every shade in between are fighting for right now! The fear of that America is what has driven cowardly conservative politicians to their bunkers and has their racist followers and supporters trying to ignite a race war. But this is not a race war. This is a war on racism.