Outrage over the Klan and Nazis and other white supremacists marching in Charlottesville turned out to be mostly yet another excuse to bitch about what a pathetic president Donald Trump is. Trump is not the real issue here, hate is.
The overt racists my age and older are dying out and have been for some time. What really bothers me is seeing the young men so avidly spewing hatred. Maybe it’s because they are the age of my son and his friends, who also like to wear Polo shirts and khakis.
For as long as I can remember, that is, since the 1960s, young people have been in favor of civil rights, gay rights, feminism, and environmentalism. Over time, straight, white youth seemed to be less politically involved. Now here is a movement full of younger folks, and they turn out on the side of evil!
Lots of problems were brought to light in Charlottesville. Here are a few:
Politicians instigating hate
Open carry gun laws that can help facilitate a race war
Apathy over police brutality, most but not all of which is directed toward black men
Radicalization of young men by terrorist groups.
America has come a long way toward civil rights for all, but the old hatreds and divisions remain (mostly) below the surface. I know how to deal with the same old, same old, but the sight of hundreds of young men in their twenties shouting the N-word in the streets and saluting the Nazi flag is new to me and, frankly, very upsetting.
Can you see your own children behind the screaming faces? Better yet, can you see yourself there? I am not ready to forgive yet, but maybe this is the dawning of compassion.
It is easier to look at pictures of Nazis in uniform than polos.