While there was much agreement expressed by the 45 interfaith clergy members who attended Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) Aug. 31 meeting on how to unite the community after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., there was also dissent.
While united against President Donald J. Trump’s statement equating white nationalists with the counter protesters at the Virginia rally last month, those attending the 90-minute discussion in Rockville also complained about conditions for their individual communities.
“Why, all of a sudden, does it take one person, one white person, to die, to forget all about the other 19 who were injured,” asked Bishop Paul Walker, of HYOP Life Skills Reentry Program. The death of an African-American doesn’t rile up the community the way the killing of a white person does, he said.
What a beautiful name for, I am sure, a beautiful young lady. I received your letter asking me why I thought there is so much hatred and violence in our country.
It was a very thoughtful letter and I will attempt to provide you with an equally thoughtful response.
In my opinion the person most responsible for the very visible and blatant instances of hatred in America is none other than former President Barack H. Obama.
It seems to me that when this nation elected its very first African-American president there was a rather large segment of our society that just could not bring itself to have an African American in the White House as our president.
This segment of society sought a leader to lead them and their hatred out of the shadows and into the mainstream. They found that leader in none other than game show host Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump, you may recall, was the leader of what is now known as the birther movement which questioned President Obama's birthplace and, in so doing, questioned his legitimacy to the presidency.
SILVER SPRING – The violence that erupted in the aftermath of a confrontation between white supremacist groups protesting the removal of a Confederate statue and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., has stirred painful memories for some area residents.
"It's horrible to see these things happening again," said Rocky Twyman a local activist and veteran of the anti-Jim Crow struggles of the 1960s. "It's truly horrible to see the Nazi flag in America. The Jews helped us in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. They came down to help us organize and spent their money to bail us out of jail."
On Aug. 19, Twyman's Pray at the Pump Movement partnered with Hopeside Seventh Day Adventist Church to hold a "Speak out Concert Against Hate" at Calverton Baptist Church in Silver Spring, where Hopeside holds its Saturday services.
"What we see now is that hate is becoming mainstream," said Anand "Andy" Chavakula, pastor of Hopeside. "Today, I want to encourage people to come together and to launch the slogan 'Standing up against hate is winning for America."
Charlottesville, Virginia is a beautiful city. I recall quite vividly taking my children there to visit Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson, a true Renaissance man. It was quite an “enlightening” experience for us to say the least.
The word “enlightening” can also be used to describe the events in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12th which resulted in an innocent protester allegedly having her life snuffed out by a white supremacist.
The history of heinous acts inflicted on this country by white supremacists can be traced back decades if not centuries and includes lynchings and goes all the way through such events as the Charleston Church massacre and now Charlottesville.
The enlightenment to which I am referring is the hopeful enlightenment of the portion of the electorate that placed Trump in the presidency. It is enlightenment to his clear leanings toward white supremacy as evidenced by so many of his policy positions including Muslim bans and Mexican wall building.
Matthew Heimbach grew up in MoCo and helped organize the march in Charlottesville
Matthew Heimbach, the chairman of the Traditionalist Workers Party (a white nationalist organization), claimed he watched as anti-fascist counter-protesters showered his followers in bleach and urine in Charlottesville, Va. on Friday. His group was in Charlottesville as part of the “Unite the Right” rally that brought together dozens of alt-right groups together to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee Statue from Emancipation Park.
Heimbach, who helped organized the rally said the city government was to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
Raised locally, Heimbach attended Poolesville High School where he said he attempted to create a white student group.
“I got several hundred students to sign on to my paper to do it. The principal trashed it. I emailed every teacher to get a sponsor none of them responded; it must have been an administrative decision,” he said of his efforts.
I walked through the deserted streets of Charlottesville Saturday afternoon thinking of Baltimore and Ferguson in the aftermath of riots there as well as the empty streets of Kuwait City in the aftermath of its liberation during the Gulf War.
Chaos, then a nervous calm and finally reflection followed each experience.
Lost in the chaos in the aftermath of the riot in Charlottesville was the news that North Korea had decided to step back from the brink.
It is perhaps the greatest victory of the Trump era and no one was talking about it – including the President of the United States – who in a raucous exchange with the press at Trump Tower Tuesday seemingly defended Alt-Right demonstrators and other white supremacists who sparked violence Saturday near the campus of the University of Virginia.