I am a white man. This is not a statement of pride or a statement of shame; there is nothing I could have done about it either way — it is a simple fact.
I am a human; race — black, white, or any other is a social construct, not a biological difference between humans. I was born male, I have always identified as male. There are other white men, and some of them have said things I do not agree with. I have been keeping largely silent, but after the events in Charlottesville on August 12th, 2017 I cannot keep silent any longer.
I can not change what I am, but I can make it clear who I am and what I stand for.
The white supremacists and white nationalists, the American Nazis and the Fascists who rallied in Charlottesville do not speak for me. We look similar, we dress similarly, we may speak similarly, but we do not speak the same words. They use the English language in a very different way.
I condemn their racism and brand of nationalism in the strongest possible terms. I do not think what they think, I do not feel what they feel, I do not believe what they believe. I will not let them speak for me and I will do what I can to keep other people from thinking that I do. I see the same things they see, but I do not draw the same conclusions. I share a heritage with the people who marched in Charlottesville, but I do not share their current ideals.
On November 13th, 2015 Shenahz Khan tweeted “`Whoever kills an innocent person, it is as though he has killed all of mankind’ (Quran 5:32) #TerrorismHasNoReligion #NotInMyName” to protest the actions of ISIS.
On June 24th, 2017 Saba Dewan posted to Facebook to raise a silent protest in India against the lynching of Muslims.
There were many complaints that moderate Muslims were not shouting down their religious extremists loudly enough. Well, to all the white Christians out there, I have this to say: it’s our turn now. To everyone that falls under some category that the white nationalists describe as “superior.” I have this to say.
I call on all of you who read this to do something that is both very easy and very hard. Spread this hashtag and spread it wide. Say it loud and say it proud. They do not speak for us.
Every time this topic of conversation comes up, every time you see it in a news feed on Facebook or Twitter or whatever other social media you use.
That’s the easy part. You will receive praise from those who believe as you do. It doesn’t matter. The hard part is not backing down. The hard part is not getting led off to the side. Some people will bring up the excesses of the Antifa. Some people will point out questionable groups and ask if you believe in what they do. So, what? Stay on message. That’s not what you’re talking about. You’re talking about white nationalists and that you do not agree with them. If others claim there is a moral equivalency between these other groups then ask them, “Is it wrong what they do? And if it’s wrong why is it right for the white nationalists? Is it right? Then why are you bringing it up? I believe that what they are doing is wrong. I believe that the goals and means of the white nationalists are wrong. I do not have to praise others to condemn the white nationalists. That is all that I am saying.” Keep pounding this one single point home.
They should be sorry. What they are doing is wrong. There is no excuse. They should try to do better in the future. They should ask how they can make up for what they have done — if it is at all possible.
Anything less than this is not an apology. Anything less is not a change.
They need to apologize for their racism. They need to apologize for their action and their hatred.
Racism is not patriotic. Nationalism is not patriotism. Fascism is not American. Some will bring up evils that have been done in the past by one group or another. Yes, there has been evil done in the name of the USA. That is not the point. The point is,
Make sure people understand that you are only saying one thing. And say only that one thing. Then ask them if they agree with the white nationalists. They may tell you that even people like that have a right to speak. And they do. As long as they are not inciting immediate violence or committing any other crimes with their speech they have the right to speak. It doesn’t matter if their speech is legal, it’s still wrong. Ask the person you’re talking with if they agree with what the white nationalists are saying. If the person you’re talking to says they have some good points, then ask what they are.
The racists may have a legitimate complaint or two mixed in with what they say, but the conclusions they draw, the methods they choose to express them, and the results they seek are wrong. Morally wrong. Indefensible. There are other groups that go to extremes in the other direction. So, what? They don’t claim to speak for me — or you.
The white nationalists do not speak for the white man writing this piece, and if they don’t speak for you then spread it wide:
I said these things because I have to. Keeping silent is no longer an option. You may be upset that it took me this long to say it. PM me and I’ll apologize to each of you individually. You may have read this and disagreed with the way I’ve said some things. That’s fine. Tell me how I could have said it better, I want constructive criticism.
But, if you are white, share two things: you and I and every other white person we know needs to say it.