My fellow white Americans.

These are images from Charlottesville, Virginia last night.

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These are white people in their twenties and thirties. Like me.

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These are people who are in my generation, the millennial generation, the one frequently lambasted for “participation trophies” and “needing safe spaces.”

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These are people that look like my coworkers, my colleagues, my brothers, my cousins. People I know and love, who also have white skin and wear polo shirts.

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These are people who, like I was, were raised on a diet of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which teaches tolerance and understanding of others. They’ve probably seen the Indiana Jones films, where punching Nazis is considered a virtuous act. These are my actual demographic peers in the United States of America, which means that these are people who sat through the unit on the second world war in their history class and looked at images of concentration camps and gas chambers and burning books and Anne Frank’s attic and still thought, well, hang on, maybe those Nazis had some interesting ideas.

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These are people who chanted “Jew will not replace us.”

These are people who yelled “The heat here is nothing compared to what you’re going to get in the ovens.”

These are people who didn’t even bother to wear hoods. 

What does it say that in 2017, I’m struck by the fact that the Ku Klux Klan members at least shielded their faces so that no one could identify them? That the same type of societal pressure apparently no longer exists today? That these people feel comfortable espousing the rhetoric of racist, genocidal maniacs in a public space that was widely photographed and broadcast?

My anger is bigger than my ability to write,  but I’m going to try to say this as succinctly as I can.

White nationalism is morally indefensible. This is not a point that is up for discussion.

If you are willing to give these people the benefit of the doubt, you are complicit in the rhetoric of racists and bigots. Playing “devil’s advocate” is unacceptable.

I am not willing to listen to one more interview or read one more article about the “economic anxiety” of the American racist.

If you disagree with the central premise that white nationalism is evil and morally wrong, then I have no words for you. May God have mercy on your soul.

If you can identify that this is evil and wrong, ask yourself why these men (and more than a few women) are angry. Why? What has provoked these people to buy a bunch of Wal-Mart tiki torches and scream Nazi slogans at a Confederate statue?

Imagine for just one second that these protestors were black.

You want to tell me your problems with Colin Kaepernick and why you think Black Lives Matter is a racist slogan? I’m not interested. If you think that Philando Castille or Mike Brown could have just “handled it differently” and they wouldn’t have died? Imagine for one second that a mob of angry black people descended upon a public space with torches, screaming about wanting to kill those who didn’t look like them. Compare the crystal-clear images of these white men with the tear-gassed protestors from Ferguson.

This is a country where racists are empowered.

You failed to read all of those stories over the past five years from women on the internet, like Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian and Lindy West? You thought those “feminists” were just “overreacting,” that there was no such thing as actual harassment from an internet troll, that their desire for online speech to have consequences when it devolved into doxxing and threats was a muzzle on free speech?

You still think that Hillary’s problems had nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman?

Welcome. This is a country where sexists are empowered. They’ve been on the internet terrorizing women for years. This is what they look like when they leave their computer screens behind.

I am no longer interested in anyone’s opinion that the Confederate Flag is merely a symbol of local heritage.

This is your heritage now.

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I am no longer interested in your hot take on “economic anxiety.” On “giving President Trump a chance.” On “identity politics are ruining the country.” On “reverse racism.”  On “all those swastikas drawn on buildings after the election were just put there by liberals trying to give conservatives a bad name.” I am no longer here for a peaceful discussion with the “other side,” when the “other side” believes that my inherent worth and humanity, and anyone else who doesn’t look or think similarly, deserves to be frightened, tortured, expelled, or harmed.

Women, people of color, religious and ethnic minorities, disabled people, gay people, trans people, and members of other marginalized groups in this country asked for their civil rights and their humanity to be respected. When you hear that the “left” are the “truly intolerant,” please remember that this is the face of the right today.

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This is domestic terrorism. This is what it looks like.

I am no longer interested in anyone trying to tell me that being frightened of angry white men is ‘racist’ when angry white men commit the vast majority of mass shootings in our country. When they commit violent crimes at rates comparable to any other race, and far more often than women.

At the time of publication, many hours after these incidents, the President of the United States had yet to condemn this behavior.*  This is not surprising information to literally anyone who has spent a scintilla of time on the internet — in Reddit’s /theDonald, in Alex Jones’ InfoWars channel, in the comment section of Breitbart, in any number of places where the overlap between nationalist views, white supremacist views, misogynistic views, xenophobic views, homophobic views, and Donald Trump’s political agenda is less of a Venn Diagram and more of a circle. The President of the United States was elected by dog-whistling to these views.

KKK leader David Duke is currently in Charlottesville ebulliently giving interviews claiming that this rally “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.” For once, I agree with David Duke about something.

This is the natural byproduct of a racist, sexist president. This is the legacy of a racist, sexist country.

My fellow white Americans, do you see it? Do you see it now?

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*******************

I am editing this post to add information that I think is important. I struggled to write it earlier, and couldn’t quite find the words. This writer did.  

I think he says it better. I’m including it in its entirety.

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Imagine if these people faced actual oppression.
Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry.
Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for “male health care.”

The law never…
Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed.

There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote. There is no history of centuries of bad science dedicated to “proving” their intellectual inferiority. There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weapons publicly.

Their churches were never burned. Their lawns were never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors never hung from trees.

Their mothers aren’t being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won’t be forced to leave the only country they ever knew. The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting “We will not be replaced.” Replaced… as what?

I’ll tell you.

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is ‘white people’ oppression: We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone. THIS is ‘white man’ oppression. We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences.

THIS is ‘oppression’ of white Christians in this country. Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it’s not.

I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas. A world where the name “Geoff” on a resume puts it in the trash. Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.

Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they’re kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really fucking is.

Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out. Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazi bitches.

************************************************************************

** Yes, the President has, since I wrote this post, put out a weak-sauce tweet denouncing these events in the most vague of terms. Know how I know that it’s weak and vague? Richard Spencer, the Nazi responsible for this, has trolled it so effectively that we understand that it could apply to literally any side of this argument. Behold:

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For the back of the house: no, all Trump voters are not white supremacists. YES, all Trump voters were comfortable electing a white supremacist to the highest office in the nation. This tweet is weak because the President doesn’t want to upset the members of his base because the members of his base are either okay with this or they are the very tiki-torch-lit assholes pictured above. These are guys wearing MAGA hats. These ARE the faces of your base. This IS the same rhetoric that Trump has always espoused. It’s Racism Classic™, now with Extra Tiki.

If you need further proof that the President doesn’t actually seem to care very much that this is happening in his name in his country, please enjoy this side-by-side comparison of the President’s stance on white supremacist Nazis versus his strong condemnation of sharks.


** Edited a second time to add: the President of the United States, after one person has been confirmed dead after a car deliberately drove into a group of anti-racist counter-protestors, has just condemned these violent acts “on many sides.”

This is literally the same as saying that he condemns the violent actions of Nazis, as well as the groups protesting the Nazis.

All I’m saying is that if violent acts are happening in your name and endorsed by David Duke and perpetrated by people waving signs with your name on it and wearing hats with your catchphrase on it, after you have asked Jeff Sessions and the department of Justice to stop investigating white supremacist terror groups exactly like this one, and all you can say is “I condemn this on many sides” rather than “stop doing this in my name” or “white supremacy is not tolerated in this country” or without using the phrase “domestic terrorism,” you’ll have to forgive me for drawing the logical conclusion that the President of the United States, in choosing his words carefully so as not to offend a racist, torch-wielding mob, gives more fucks about the feelings of actual Nazis than anyone or anything else. If you’re willing to speak “off the cuff” about North Korean missile strikes or classified intel or fallen soldiers or disabled reporters or Gold Star families but recognize that your words have impact when you’re worried about offending ACTUAL NAZIS, may you and every single person who ever defended you feel a shame that burns hotter than any collection of tiki torches.

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706 thoughts on “My fellow white Americans.

  1. I’ve shared your article on Facebook, but the thumbnail attached to it is 45’s asinine tweet instead of one of the other photos — which makes me want to take the post down. I’ve tried removing the thumbnail and reposting it without the thumbnail, to no avail. Can you do something g on your end?

    • I can’t, unfortunately. I don’t have the ability to edit that code – it automatically pulls the last available image. But if you go to my FB page and share from there, I shared it initially before the tweet photo, so you might be able to work around that way.

      • When FaceCrook does not post the picture I want, I post a link to that picture first. I did just that to post this story.

        Thank you for your courage in saying these words.

        Thank you.

      • Thank you Katherine for your powerful words. It greatly saddens my generation (baby boomers) that our country is now regressing. I believe that all political candidates need to be checked for mental competency before being allowed to run for any office. I am worried about what is happening with our environment globally and the safety nets that had been put in place for all people are disappearing. Where is the love for one another? God bless you and your words of wisdom, Katherine Fritz.

    • When you post the link, a preview comes up. Look in the top left corner there are forward/backward arrow buttons. You can scroll through the photos embedded within the article to find one that suits you.

    • Copy the text and download an image from google or right here if your choice. Then lost the text with the picture. Don’t use a link.

    • Using the big blue “f” button in this page only gives the one pic of 45’s tweet. Instead, what I did was copy the actual URL for this post [https://iambeggingmymothernottoreadthisblog.com/2017/08/12/my-fellow-white-americans/] into the window on my FB page for sharing. In the upper-left-hand corner of the pic there is the option, via arrows, to select which picture you want to show in the preview. Hope this helps in getting the word out. This piece to far too important not to share.

    • Nationalist is the correct term, nationalism is inherently racist because it encourages people to believe that they are better than the “others” and that their country is superior in some way.

    • And Einstein himself said, “Nationalism is a disease, and should be eradicated, like the measles.”

      He didn’t specify ‘white nationalism,’ since any ‘nationalism’ achieves the same effect of a “we’re better than you” mentality – but Hitler put a color on it, and so have these nazi asshats…

  2. My, my, my. This person has put it all out there. I need a hardcopy to absorb these truths. May you keep speaking the truth and may God keep watching your back.

    • I agree. I enjoyed reading your piece. You picked up on my anger & outrage over our current politics and the deplorable, shameful protests of yesterday. I was surprised by the number of KKK/Neo Nazis that showed up and how overtly they displayed their flags & torches, without shame, without hiding their faces! The depth of their hatred is fearsome. And, if a movement like this is not stifled by our government, it can grow… this is why President Trump needs to voice his opposition very clearly, not be as vague as he was!!!

  3. You just grabbed and squeezed some truth that is as bitter by drop as it is true. Your words have pierced my soul with truth and given me breath to take in, for this greater struggle. I am afraid that our world and the freedoms that were so abundant are being slaughtered. The call to arms of this terror filled reign, “Let’s make America great again” has become the platform and slogan of the beast of hatred unleashed. We cannot rely on anyone tk save us but God and oursves. 45 Ian’s his flowi g are nether!

  4. Pingback: My fellow white Americans. | bhalsop

    • Yes, she does. With Nazism, racism and white supremacists. As any decent person would. The same issues you would have if you were a decent person.

  5. It would be wonderful if any of these torch carriers would read this whole article maybe just maybe they will see what idiots they are . Maybe their employers and other people they associate with ever day see these nasty pictures or maybe a girl that brings one of these no brain assholes home to meet family had seen him in a picture and is discussed,then maybe they will see what they have become. The person that was killed, murdered . The blood is on your hands and by pictures you all should be held accountable for this. Maybe your children will see a picture of you someday in a history book and cry because hey didn’t realize daddy helped killed someone! In church what can you say to Jesus when you remember he was Jewish ? God I’m so glad I don’t have to go to my bed tonight with the fury and noise and the power you felt when you were with the haters that are now gone and you have to admit to yourself I really helped kill a person tonight. Because you did !!!

  6. Thank you and blessings. to you. I might just be able to sleep tonight reading your exceptional writing. Knowing that there are generations who feel this same passion.

  7. Pingback: Living in a state of fear.  – Welcome to Aspie Land!

  8. I want to thank you so much for writing this. As an organizer for the historically most anti-racist union in American history (you know the one) I found this invaluable in reaching out to my more conservative friends and family who don’t really grasp what’s happening right now.

  9. You show considerable restraint in addressing these awful events. President Carter attributes his successes as a skilled negotiator to listening to the tyrants and megalomaniacs he has encountered and then reasoning with them using their perspectives. Somewhere lost inside those persons are human beings, even if it takes someone of President Carter’s stature to bring it to the surface.

  10. This is why, now more than ever, 45 is not, and never will be my president. It continues to become truer with every passing day.

  11. I thought that I would be able to leave my children and grand children and great-grand children in a safe world! They, for the most part don’t know racism or the difference between black and white races! All they know is their friends and brothers and sisters!

  12. Beautifully said.
    I am ashamed to be white. I am disgusted that people may think I hold any of the same views as these bullies. I cringe when people might think I voted for Trump. I raise my voice in protest. I march in the street. I will go door to door Again to try to make sure that these people are ashamed insteasd of everyone else.It is my privilege to try to help, to try to chaznger the rhetoric. It is my prtive large yo keep learning about the struggles of the truly oppressed. It is my priverlegee to fight for better education so that the next generation hears a different point of view and will maybe see. I am ashamed of us.I am truly, deeply sorry.

  13. A well-reasoned and forcefully stated shredding of the toxic rhetoric that white supremacists and neo-Nazis are spewing. Do not underestimate how much we need your voice! (We = you and the rest of the civilized, compassionate, and intelligent people who are fighting for justice and inclusion.) That’s doubly true because you’ll be around long after older progressives/radicals of my age (b. 1960) are gone. You’re also in a better position to reach your deluded and mis-programmed littermates. Wishing you everything and everyone you need to continue… including providing for your personal safety.

    Rock on…. 🙂

  14. First of all, I am so glad you wrote this article full of wisdom, insight and passion. The one point I disagree with is the idea to take away “freedom of speech” even hate speech. If we are unaware of where the hatred is coming from, we cannot change it. I, instead believe in having nonviolent debates moderated so each side must listen to the other to hear their thoughts and feelings. Of course, all lives matter and if we can hear the fear of the angry mob, we have the ability to change their hearts and minds. Operating from a place of love, not a place of fear is one of the greatest truths. True – it is shocking that this took place at all. I have been shocked as well. I believe when one is operating from anger and fear the action can and probably always is horrific. When the action comes from a place of love and compassion, it is true and helps all human beings.

  15. Thank you for giving clarity and eloquency to my thoughts and feelings.
    I used to be proud to be an American, now I’m not so sure

  16. I’ve shared on FB and Twitter – thank you for finding the words, when I could not, to say what so many of us are feeling. I have never been more appalled to be a white American. I am more depressed and disgusted with my country every day and the person who currently lives in the White House, playing to his awful base, just makes it worse. The only way to change this is to get out and vote – get the people who support these actions out of office on local, state and national levels.

  17. One extreme feeds into another, and it spirals up, up and up until you have a tragedy like this. Your incendiary message is that the identity politics of lunatic fringe of the left is justified. Unfortunately, the extremists are tiny in numbers, but have an amplified message. Fortunately, the entire country is outraged by THIS tragedy, unfortunately not the same when BLM issues threats to kill white people. Trump voters getting assaulted, ANTIFA assaulting and destroying the 1st Amendment and people. It’s all over Youtube if you want to see for yourself. The animals protesting yesterday are Nazi’s, and should be vilified, but in order to have peace, it must go both ways.

  18. You’ve spoken clearly, courageously and bravely. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on Dancing Forward. Your clear, straightforward message inspires. There are torches that inspire evil and there are torches that inspire to brighten path forward. Thank you.

  19. Pingback: My fellow white Americans. | mbove

  20. Hello. Thank you for this well written and passionate article. I will likely quote and reference this over the next several months. One suggested correction: The march on Saturday was to take place at a confederate monument, that of R.E. Lee. The unapproved assembly of the tiki torch “protesters”, or mob, took place on campus, circling a statue of T. Jefferson, who as I’m certain you know, was a writer of the bill of rights & a US President, prior to the days of the confederacy. I wanted to point that out, as I’m also certain that those who will negate this article, will label it untruthful based on that one misstep.
    Take Care.

  21. Donald Trump has abused Social Media (namely Twitter) to bully, lie, misdirect, and misinform often at odds with his speech and policies. Now he has threatened two sovereign nations with military violence in direct violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service. This petition asks Twitter to delete @realDonaldTrump for misuse.

    It’s time for POTUS to have consequences…#Resist
     https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/delete-realdonaldtrump

  22. OK… I have a nit with this post. I’m 99% in agreement with this. Why did you bring up Michael Brown? He just robbed a convenience store and tried to take the officers guns from him. He is responsible for his own death. Philando Castille, sure, the cop was 100% to blame on that one. You also could’ve mentioned Eric Garner, killed for selling loosies, or a host of other police shootings… but Michael Brown is a terrible example to use here.

    • Sorry, Al. Michael Brown did NONE of what you stated. You’ve been duped. In NO way was he responsible for his own death. Michael Brown was several feet away from the officer when he was shot, unarmed, as every eyewitness corroborated. Shame on you.

      • You’re so full of shit. He didnt rob the convenience store, he stole from it. That’s the truth. Oh, so you expect me to believe that this cop was like, “im gunna kill meh a nagger,” knowing full well, the consequences of using his service weapon to end someone’s life? Nah, sorry. Doesnt add up. But nice try.

  23. Thank you for this. I’d just like to point out that the tweets from the White House are not “weak” or equivocal- they are a clear signal that the onus is on protesters and that any violence is a result of their actions. Phrased to seem ambiguous but calculated to open up the space for more of the same, just as he has opened up more space for aggression against all minorities. (Haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if the point has already been made, but I think it’s important to stop thinking this guy doesn’t know what he is doing, when he celebrates the destruction of government and the persecution of his opponents.)

    • Please, Jason, explain to us all, if you will, the “other side” – the positive side, i.e. the opposite of what this article is about – of Nazism, White Supremacy and racism. I’ll wait.

  24. How dare you use this as an excuse to blame President Trump for it all! There have always been racists and white supremacists! The Kkk wasn’t just formed when Trump took office. This has nothing to do with him. You don’t think there are racists backing Hilary? There have always been protests that can sometimes turn violent. Saying this is Trumps fault is just taking another opportunity to criticize him for something he didn’t do. It reminds me of children saying “see? I told you so!” You’ll look for anything to blame on him. Shame on you! Stop making up reasons that everyone should hate him. Being a Trump supporter does not make you a racist! It does not make you violent! These traits were present in these people long before Trump came along.

    • A. By not saying “No” to something implies consent. B. Just because the KKK was not formed on January 20th 2017, does not mean it has nothing to do with the president’s attitude towards it. Refer to Point A. C. Democrats and Liberals are not really known for their racism. Why don’t you give us some examples instead of just asking a question? Support your assertion! D. “We” don’t make up reasons to “hate” him. There are plenty already. His tepid reaction to this shameful, unAmerican march just adds to the list. Imagine how you would feel had these marchers been black, and had Obama not said anything. Think about it. E. No one is saying all Trump supporters are racist and no one saying all Trump supporters are violent. We’re saying all of *these* Trump supporters are racist and violent. And yes, their racism & hatred was present before Trump came along, but what does that have to do with anything? This never would have happened under previous Administrations. Trump’s attitude during his campaign, and the things he said and did, gave racist ignorant people like this the thumbs up. You are right, it was always there before, but it was hidden. Now they don’t feel they need to hide it. Why would that be?

  25. Our world represents “all”..peaceful protests should be encouraged and heard… there is no place in our US for this behavior that does look like terrorizixm .. arrests should follow.

  26. You can’t see both sides of the argument? I know, ones fate shouldn’t be decided by the color of their skin. I’m asking you really can’t see why these people are angry? Of course they are approaching it the wrong way and the crazy guy in the car didn’t help. What I’m asking is aside from their group name or chants, you can’t see their point of view?

      • When you carry a rebel flag and a swastika, you lost all credibility and respect. I am puzzled as to why the entire white race is responsible for this? I am a white guy, and my beef is that it is 100% legal to discriminate against ME. But, I have “privilege”? There were points I agreed, but the net was thrown too far.

    • Josh, why don’t you explain to us why these people are angry? And what it has to do with blacks, and gays, and Jews?

  27. So it has come to this! Hundreds of rabid racists consumed by their vicious hatred of all they regard as ‘untermenschen’, congregate in a US city to terrorise those who reject and condemn their white supremacist ravings. One of them drives a vehicle into the anti-fascist opponents killing one and injuring many. We can be in no doubt that this murderous mob are the direct descendants of the Nazi storm toopers who terrorised liberals, leftists and Jews in Germany in the early 1930S. They are proud of this foul ancestry which they proclaim in their invocation of ‘blood and soil’. These events are a warning to us all.They should remind us of Brecht’s stark warning to the effect that though Hitler was dead, ‘the bitch that bore him is on heat again’. But Trump’s response is worst of all; he blames ‘many sides’ for violence. That amounts to blaming the anti-fascist murdered and maimed equally with their Nazi murderer. Trump will not offend his white supremacist base. For this they applaud him with a grateful chant of ‘Hail Trump’. need I say more? Just this: Neo-fascism has captured the White House

    • “…a US City…” And a liberal leaning Southern city, at that, one that went for Hilarry at something like 80%. Coincidence? Funny they didn’t hold their rally in Knoxville TN, Montgomery AL or Jackson Mississippi, where they would have received much more support and much less counter demonstration Just my theory.

    • Anyone carrying a rebel flag or Nazi flag loses all credibility with their point of view. Mike, their “anti-fascist” ANTIFA opponents yesterday are fascists. They assault, destroy, attack, molest and shut down free speech.. They come prepared for combat with helmets, mace and other weaponry. They have inflicted serious injury, which might have resulted in death because they did not like their opinion. BLM have blood on their hands, their supporters have killed police. While this murder is was at the hands of fascists, their ANTIFA opponents are no better.

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