“Unite the Right.”
That was the name of the rally where white supremacists met up to protest the removal of a statue that commemorates this country’s dark past. They lit up their torches, chanting “white lives matter!” and marched onto the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.
They were united.
Counter protesters arrived to rally against the hate group and dissented their demands to keep the racist memorabilia. They joined other anti-racist groups, chanting “no hate, no fear, white supremacy is not welcome here,” and confronted the white supremacists on the streets.
They clashed, resulting in extreme violence and bloodshed, but they were united; united against each other, but still, united.
History tells us about a war where one side won, and the other was forced into uniting with their opposition. It’s my opinion that this forced unity and suppression of hateful thoughts accumulated into the alt-right movement we are witnessing.
History also tells us about conflicts that have been resolved through compromise. When people compromise, they are united. This strong group identity should lead to peace, but that’s not always how it goes. The strong group identity can create close-mindedness and ignorance that fuel hatred. And we cannot unite or comply to the oppressive actions of those who seek to destroy others. The only thing we can do is prevent situations like this from happening in the future. How successful we are right now in encouraging important ideals will be seen in how the future of this country unfolds.
So instead of encouraging unity, we should encourage what’s right.