Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlottesville- Lessons to learn from this tragedy

Whatever transpired in Charlottesville on August 12th, 2017 should disturb any sensible person. It was not a pleasant site to watch those violent protests. Peaceful protests and marches are integral part of any democratic society. There is no doubt that each and every section of society has a right to express their views and can do so in legal and peaceful manure. As a supporter of freedom of expression, I agree with everyone's right to express their views on any topic, but this right to express doesn't involve the right to threaten or perpetrate violence against any group or person. This is why events in Charlottesville were very disturbing for me, the way mobs attacked each other was not the way to express you ideas. The way one man drove his car into the mob killing one innocent woman and injuring 19 others was an act of terrorism, no other word can be used to describe that murder. One can disagree with other's views or political ideology, but no matter how strong is the disagreement, no one has the right to attack anyone or even threaten anyone because of that disagreement. Three (one protester and two state troopers) lives were lost during these ugly protests, this should ring warning bell in everyone's mind who is concerned about this great country. Is this the way we want to move forward? Are we going to learn any lessons moving forward after this tragedy? Or still we are going to get consumed by our political ideology and hatred?

Hatred propagated by white supremacist and neo-Nazis was disturbing, but President Trump's failure to condemn these groups specifically during the press conference after the incident was more disturbing. When, as a leader of a country someone fails to condemn an illegal violent act of an act of domestic terrorism just because the perpetrator was allegedly supporter of that leader, it paints a very scary picture. This means the condemnation of any crime will be selective and based on the political or ideological positions of the perpetrators. This stuff happens in India all the time, and I am surprised to see it happen in the US. Political and ideological disagreements are very common, I have seen them in the US all the time. I have seen pro-life and pro-choice supporters protesting side by side passionately trying to propagate their view points. I have also seen them debating with each other very passionately, but I haven's seen them attacking each other due to ideological differences. Freedom to express and debate is a basic tenet of American society, and any erosion in this philosophy can prove very dangerous to the future of the USA. I hope everyone who loves this amazing country realizes this danger and act accordingly before it's too late.

Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and express it on any public platform, it is their constitutional right. These opinions can be challenged and debated, but violence can't be an answer to resolve any disagreement. We can agree or disagree or condemn other's opinion, but we can't suppress their voices just because we don't like them, freedom of expression is an important constitutional right granted by the First Amendment to everyone living in the USA and all Americans need to protect this valuable right. As a leader of nation the President should be upfront to condemn hatred propagated by White Supremacist and other related groups, he should not mince words while calling spade a spade. All Americans need to learn a lesson from this ugly display of hatred by racist groups, make sure you make your voices heard, make sure your President knows that hate propagating groups will be challenged, and he needs to stand on right side when there is a question of racism and bigotry. Make sure that love wins over hatred, and social fabric of this nation doesn't get destroyed by few bad elements. Let's move forward with more resolve and determination to fight against discrimination, racism, hatred, and bigotry, this will be our true homage to all three people who died in Charlottesville on August 12.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]