There is something seriously wrong in this country. No, it isn’t only Donald Trump, though he is a sign, a manifestation of the disease that is destroying this nation. No, the disease isn’t the coronavirus, though perhaps it has brought the other, deeper disease into the public arena. The disease is … what? It has many names, but they all point to one thing just as the saying goes that “all roads lead to Rome”. And that one thing is blind hatred.
I’ve posted twice in the past week about the two white men who brutally murdered a young black man guilty only of being outdoors jogging. The men, father and son, chased him down in their pickup truck and shot him to death. The murder went unannounced for more than two months, then finally once it became public knowledge, the hue and cry was such that the two were arrested. Most of us, I hope, were appalled by what happened to Ahmaud Arbery and hope the two killers will spend the rest of their lives paying for their actions. However, there is a group that is growing in numbers, who seem to see the killers as ‘heroes’, want to put them on a pedestal and give them kudos.
It began when a group previously called “Christians Against Google” changed their name to “Justice for Gregory and Travis Michael”, the two killers. In the “About” section of their Facebook page, they claim …
“These 2 God-fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood. This area has had a string of break-ins and this man fit the description and did not comply with simple commands. Our hearts go out to the McMichael family in their time of need. Amen.”
By “fit the description”, they mean that he was black. If that doesn’t make your blood boil, then I don’t know what will. Worse yet … you may think this group is comprised of only a few “good ol’ boys”, southern whites who haven’t yet realized that this is the 21st century and that skin colour is not a basis for judgment or discrimination. But the fact is that at last count, there were reportedly some 104,000 people signed on for this hateful group.
I’m sure by now you’re probably tired of hearing me say that “racism is alive and well in America”, but the truth is that every damn day something happens to reinforce that notion. Take this, for example …
Last week, an off-duty deputy sheriff (in uniform, nonetheless) and a group of all white men in New Hanover, North Carolina, knocked on the door of the home of Monica Shepard late Sunday night. She was asleep, but her son, Dameon, a high school senior, was awake and playing video games and answered the door. At least one member of the group was carrying an assault weapon, another a shotgun, and the group began pounding young Dameon with questions about a girl who had gone missing earlier that week. When Dameon attempted to shut the door, members of the group forcibly kept him from doing so.
Dameon repeatedly told them he knew nothing about it, and finally, hearing the noise, Ms. Shepard was awakened and came to see what was afoot. She immediately called the police, who came and disbursed the group, although no arrests were made that night, and the group was allowed to leave.
On Friday, five days after the incident and after Ms. Shepard hired an attorney who wrote a letter to Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler, he announced that the deputy, J.T. Kita, has been fired from his position and is being charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties, while another man, Austin Wood, is being charged with “going armed to the terror of the community.” But only after an attorney got involved. And only these two.
And these are just two incidents that occurred recently, just the ones that made headline news. How many others take place on any given day?
My point, however, goes beyond these two incidents to the bigger picture. Here in the U.S., there is a growing contingent of people who somehow feel that the colour of their pale skin makes them better than others. It isn’t only racism of this sort, but hatred against religious groups, most notably Jews and Muslims. It’s hatred against people who love someone of their own gender. It’s hatred against women who believe we have a right to control our own body rather than being dictated to by a bunch of men who have no idea what we go through.
Any way you cut it, it’s hate, pure and simple. And it is increasing here in the U.S. to the point that I foresee race wars in our future, likely this summer if this continues, and if the two ‘men’ who murdered Ahmaud Arbery are not convicted. The case has shades of Trayvon Martin written all over it, and I fear those two excuses for human beings will walk free, as well.
In 2016, Donald Trump claimed he would “make America great again” … is this what he meant? Some 40% of the nation cheered him for saying that. Is this what they wanted? In my book, ‘America’ as it is called, is a sick nation … a nation where nearly half the people cheer for bigotry and racism. A nation where those same people feel a need to carry a gun … a big gun … to prove their manhood, for they themselves realize they are lacking. A nation where hate is ever-increasing, despite the claims of some 75% of the nation that they are “good Christians”.
Think about it.