ON THE STATUE BEHIND THE VA WHITE SUPREMACIST PROTEST AND WHITE PRIVILEGE
POSTED AUGUST 15TH, 2017 | BY DEIDRE CURIEL
On Friday August 11th, in the home of The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, an event took place, that most of us had all hoped that in our lifetimes, would never have to see. A group of white supremacists thought it would be a great idea, to capitalize on their hate group and ‘protest’ the taking down of the statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. In April of 2016, Zyanah Bryant implemented a petition to remove the statue from towering over Emancipation Park and received about 730 signatures.
Although any type of action to remove the statue hasn;t been concluded, this did not stop hundreds of alt-right supporters from throwing a fit and calling it a ‘rally’. Jason Kessler is a 34 year old white supremacist, who apparently organized this ‘Unite the Right’ protest, and caused the death of one woman and the injuries of 34 people. So since this statue is so important to these grown men who apparently don’t have anything else to do on a Friday night than to carry tiki torches in the honor of another white supremacist who has been dead for about 170 years, let's break down what Robert E. Lee has done for America.
Lee was an American general who served under the Confederate army of North Virginia in The Civil War from 1862-1865. Lets not forget how the actual infrastructure of the Confederate Army was on the backs and enslavement of over thousands of African Americans (and still counting). The Confederate States of America were fighting for the right to keep slavery in tact for their own financial benefits of property and slave owners, and Virginia was one of eleven. So if we break all of this down in simpler forms, Robert E. Lee fought for the legal right to continue to own, kill, use, torture and trade of African American people.
White supremacists around the world are upset because they claim that taking down the statue erases history, and is ‘unamerican’, and to put it into the words of Jasson Kessler ‘the anti-white hatred thats coming out of the city’. Truth is, Robert E. Lee is not a hero for America and American history, he is the hero of White America and WHITE HISTORY. Can you imagine, as a person of color, to be walking in the park and having to stare at a statue and memorial of someone who supported the oppression of your ancestors? And that's the point, that is exactly what white privilege is, is that white americans will not know or experience that type of uncomfortability.
Having privilege, in no way, shape or form, means that you have not worked hard for what you have, or that you have not gone through trials and tribulations to become who you are. Privilege, means being able to call your rally a protest, and showing up with tiki torches, guns and sticks, pushing up against police, shouting racist comments like ‘Black lives don't matter’ and still be able to go home safe to your wife and children and be able to live with yourself. Privilege means being able to become president with no political background, privilege means being pulled over by a police officer and not have that chill of anxiety go down your spine of fear.
Now if you’re still wondering how the word privilege has any type of relevance in regards to this ‘rally’, reality star Karruche Tran and actor Jesse Williams both posted a video of actual footage of a bystander who witnessed what this hate group calls a ‘rally’:
On top of everything we have going on in the world, of course our ‘president’, has nothing to say on the matter, just as he has had nothing to say in reference to any of the issues affecting people of color, especially police brutality. In Fact, he encouraged police to use ‘more force’ on their platform of what they call ‘protection’. On August 12th at a press conference in New Jersey, once again, the president walks off as journalists ask questions in regards to Charlottesville and the men who were heard chanting his name, irony...I'm not truly sure.
To sum up some of the major points, no race is superior to the other. No one is asking for extra attention or special treatment, we would like to acknowledge all colors and all walks of life, but incidents like these are what makes us all feel like we are moving backwards. And there is nothing scarier than to think that history may or may not be repeating itself. But one thing is certain, love will always win. We will not back down and we will continue to be progressive and know the difference between pride, and supremacy.
Deidre Curiel is a CUSITEMUSIC.com Blogger out of Chicago
Facebook: Deidre Michelle Curiel