I wanted to submit a new article today, to build on the momentum of last week's post... but writing today is difficult.
You see, I don't want to write because this weekend - in Charlottesville, Virginia - a group of domestic nazis marched on a college campus resulting in several injuries, and ultimately, the loss of life. And honestly, I don't want to write about any of it, but how can I write about anything else?
I don't want to write because the purpose of this blog is to promote my writing, and the idea that I might be using the tragedy of this weekend in some twisted form of self-promotion is sickening - but there is also an obligation placed on every writer (on every artist, for the matter) to reflect the truth, and to write about anything else in this moment would be a lie.
I don't want to write because I doubt my own footing. I am a male, middle-class, heterosexual, protestant caucasian. In other words, I may have been the only group not targeted by the hate being spewed in Charlottesville this weekend, so who am I to talk about my anger, or hurt, or shame? Maybe it's not my place, and yet those feelings remain, and require a voice.
I don't want to write because it means admitting I was wrong. For years I believed that race-relations in America were steadily improving - that with each new generation, we were getting closer to forgetting our differences and coexisting simply as Americans. I thought that the racists were a dwindling minority. But I was wrong. The boldness displayed over the weekend - adults spewing their hatred without hiding behind masks or hoods - was not the death throes of a dying breed. It was a debut - an invitation to hate our fellow man in broad daylight without fear of repercussion.
And I don't want to explain what's at stake. It's 2017 in the United States of America, and I shouldn't have to explain why nazis are still evil. I shouldn't have to justify condemning the KKK and the alt-right on social media. I shouldn't have to listen to the leader of the free world talk about hate on "many sides" when men brandishing swastikas march through an American city. Yet here we are.
Maybe more than any other time in human history - with the rise of social media - we will be judged by future generations for what we say and do in these moments of national crises. That's why we must be clear and unwavering when we declare that the evil and violence witnessed in Charlottesville has no place in our country. To remain silent now, is inexcusable - and history will judge our silence.