LET THEM MARCH
RESPONDING TO HATRED
This century has seen the consistent advancement of legal recognition for various progressive values. The rise of motivated, liberal, and sometimes angry social and political movements, along with a relentless pursuit of legal remedies for their causes, have resulted in considerable change to the fabric of our nation. At times, it reminds me of the societal turmoil during the 1960’s and ‘70s.
Yet, even with the broadening acceptance of unfettered reproductive and sexual identity rights, and ongoing attempts to address structural racism in our nation, there remains considerable resistance. These fundamental individual rights, crucial to a truly ‘free’ society, continue to be battled by social conservatives across many socio-economic segments. Progress gleaned from the Civil Rights movement gaining its voice half-century ago is still not recognized by a persistent percentage of the population. The acceptance of alternative histories and vast conspiracy theories has led to an ‘alt-right’ movement, that at times overlaps with white nationalists/supremacists and a variety of fascist organizations. Add in a mix of heavily-armed quasi-legal militias, and a President who cares little about anything but applause and his early adolescent ego, and you get the summer of 2017.
It’s surely a momentous time, when we see civil unrest across our nation, sometimes sparked by injustices, at other times provoked, as it was recently. Yet, after taking time to reflect, I have come to the conclusion that this is a good thing. Yes. I want to encourage permitting every rally or protest conceivable to these hatemongers. Why? Because now we get to see the faces of the enemy; now we get to hear the voices of the bigoted and ignorant.
Please do not accuse me of advocating violence, because I have made no mention of resistance. I believe strongly in free speech rights. I welcome any and all marches, legally armed if they’d like. Particularly those led and/or motivated by the likes of the KKK, the NAZIS, Unite the Right, Richard Spencer, Alex Jones, Roger Stone, et al.
To be sure, we must be strong. We must absorb the hatred we see and hear, and reflect it back on them in shining daylight. We must let them march and let them revel in their hatred……and while they do so, record every word and image. Allow these haters’ crude nonsense to ring loud and clear. Give them their gloriously ugly moment, and watch as they spew their bigoted, ignorant words. Let us broadcast, for all to see, the images of every person brave enough to brandish the images and icons of hate.
And then…. we identify each and every one of these people. To be clear, I’m not talking about the government having anything to do with this. No, we the people shall do this. Once identified, we must expose all of these haters and their activities to their families, friends, schools, and employers. We push them from among us. We publicize and ostracize anyone that finances them and we boycott their businesses. Don’t forget, the concept of free speech in our country applies to the rights of citizens to speak unfettered from sanction or prohibition by the government. There are no laws to prevent fascist bigots from being socially sanctioned by the very community and culture they reject and seek to overthrow.
I say let’s all take to the streets and let our voices and ideas be heard. Let’s see which ‘side’ and their ideas are standing when the noise settles, and we finally unite to move forward, not backward into violence and hatred.