It's 2017 and I'm scared. If we didn't have enough to deal already with Brexit, Trump, North Korea's increasing threatening stance on Missiles, we now have to deal with a bunch of white supremacists declaring they are better than anybody else just because of the colour of their skin.
Doesn't it sound like we are going back in time rather than looking forward? What makes it possible for people to believe they are better than anybody else? When will the violence end?
I'm White British and I have never believed that I am better than anybody because of the colour of my skin. If you have a Brummie accent, a lisp and wear hearing aids, you tend to come down to earth with a bump. Hell, having a Brummie accent tends to come with its own disadvantages. In fact, I believe if people believe they are better than anybody else, this tends to come with a stinking whiff of their own insecurities.
I'm not naïve and I know violence will never end. There will always be someone inciting hatred for reasons often unknown (their insecurities, for fun, ignorance etc.) and you can never fight hatred with hatred.
The story of Heather Heyer has stuck a chord with me. If this event ever happened in the UK, it could have easily have been me or anybody else I know. From all of her friends accounts, they all say Heather stood up against all types of discrimination, often posted messages on Facebook promoting equality and love and activism meant for her to 'get out in your community and do things'. Heather sounds right up my street because in the fight against hate, we need more people like her. We need more people to speak out against all type of discrimination because if you don't call it out when you hear it, you are condoning it.
It doesn't matter if you aren't disabled, a POC, lqbt because we are all, in the end, human. We all have all the same feelings and deserve to be treated with respect regardless of our position in society.
If your reading this, you might think I'm preaching and do I actually do it myself? I do attempt to call out discrimination but it can be still shocking when you hear it. I'm lucky, I've had a year abroad so I have a broader understanding and patience of different cultures. I can understand why people do believe their better than others because I believe this mainly comes down to ignorance as well. They have a fundamental lack of understanding of different cultures.
How many times have we heard that Islam supports violence every time there has been a terrorist attack? How many times has there been an increase in hate crimes against innocent Muslims? How many times has the Daily Mail/The Sun used sensational headlines exploiting Islam just to gain readers?
I have never read the Quran but after a quick five minute Google search, even I can understand that Islam does not condone violence. Yet, how many people still believe the Quran promotes violence even if all it would take is a quick Google search?
Ignorance and a lack of education is the fundamental reason why people believe they are better than others. I'm not going to pretend I know what the answer is to solve the issue other than calling out discrimination when I hear it.
There is always going to be violence but if we all call it out when we see it, we can all help to end it. As Heather Heyer's last Facebook post says, 'If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention'.
Heather, I'm paying attention and I am outraged.
N.B: My sympathies also go out to everybody who has died in similar circumstances across the world.