While the terrorist activities of Charlottesville, Va., were over two weeks ago, I’m still wrestling with it emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
The brazen and cowardly acts of racism, bigotry, and hatred by White Nationalists caused the death of Heather Heyer, Lt. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, and left DeAndre Harris severely injured. This display of white supremacy was disappointing, but it wasn’t surprising.
The sanitized American history we are taught in school leaves a plethora of important details undiscussed:
- Christopher Columbus did not discover America; he was lost and eventually participated in the genocide of Native Americans and the Transatlantic slave trade.
- Of the five authors of the U.S. Constitution, at least two of them -- Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington -- participated in the chattel slavery of Africans.
- American law enforcement started during antebellum slavery. Slave patrols and nightwatchers would eventually evolve into modern police departments. Obviously, the origins of law enforcement have a long-lasting residue.
White supremacy is not new. Actually it’s embedded in the fabric of American history.
The dilemma is that neither healing nor reconciliation can take place until white supremacy is acknowledged as a problem. The first step in addiction recovery is acknowledging there is an issue. The same first step needs to be applied to racial reconciliation.
We have to acknowledge the ideology that is in the fabric of this nation, engage in difficult dialogue, and work together to dismantle all of the systems and symbols that perpetrate this superiority complex.
I’m Joe Mitchell, and this is my perspective.