“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela
“This is the 21st century, and we would all like to think racism is dead in America. Actually, that's not the case: still there are some racial issues that are out across this nation, and so we have a responsibility as compassionate citizens of America, no matter what our ethnic group happens to be, to confront these issues when they arise.” Alveda King
The definition of terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. The events that occurred in Charlottesville orchestrated by the Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and the Alt-right group, clearly define this definition. However, this is not surprising in regards to the history of these organizations. According to the FBI, there was a 23.3 percent increase in hate crimes in 2016. The rise in crime began in the first term of President Obama’s administration and has dramatically increased under Trump’s. So what’s fueling the surge in hate?
One theory, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is that people of color in America currently represent about 36 percent of the population. By 2040, people of color will represent 52 percent of individuals in this country. This means white people will become the minority for the first time in the history of our country. That fact is alarming to some white people because they fear they will lose control and power. Further, they fear the hate and violence their ancestors thrust upon people of color throughout past generations will lead to retaliatory behavior when they are no longer the majority race. That is just plain stinking thinking.
We as a community need to make a stand that no forms of bigotry and hatred are welcome here. We should treat the terrorist acts perpetrated by the hate groups we witnessed in Charlottesville last month, in the same manner as the terrorist acts of 9-11. These acts of terrorism are immoral and illegal.
Recent actions so close to home have caused me to reflect more often on the state of American race relations. I find myself turning to Mahatma Gandhi for inspiration: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." We must move forward to grow this great country for ALL of us. Love and faith are the cornerstones of building community and bringing all people together. I started ColorsVA magazine because I truly believe that ALL people can live together in harmony and if we understand each other’s differences, we can understand the great commonalities that we share. I know we ALL share this. Let’s continue to act!