Every time an incident purported to be the example of systemic racism in America hits the headlines, we are somehow forced to take a side. Why is not enough to have compassion and empathy for victims and their families. Why is it not enough to hate the actions of those who inflict violence and death?
As soon as the color of the victims and the color of the suspect make the headlines, those pushing the narrative of perpetual victim-hood rush to their keyboards to identify markers of racism. In the case of the recent Charleston Shooting, it developed that the shooter is a disturbed individual who actually does hold racist views. But it is not enough to denounce his actions and demand justice. Those pushing the narrative sought to use the tragedy as an example of rampant racism in our nation. Former Obama Admin. official Brandon Friedman raced to tie Gov. Nikki Haley & the confederate flag to the story. The flying of the confederate flag circled social media as a symbol of accepted racism in the South, all of my favorite race baiters passed it around. The question 'Where can we be safe?' came from several who really don't view the shooting as the crazed actions of a lone shooter.
Somehow, I am responsible for both my ancestors, who may or may not have ever owned slaves, and the actions of some racist lunatic in Charleston. I can't say anything about waiting for evidence or not jumping to conclusions that will not irk the people who believe that our world is filled with racial injustice. I can not help but feel that I am being judged on the basis of my skin color. Where are these people, of my color, who think that the actions of the shooter in Charleston were justified or acceptable?
The narrative that our nation is somehow polarized over whether racism is acceptable or not is false. The overwhelming consensus is that the shooter acted unacceptably, horridly, and should be brought to justice. Why can't we agree to let the extremists be the outliers and unite in our disdain for their actions? Are we expected to identify with the shooter based only on the color of our skin? Can we only grieve for the victims and their families if we are of the same race?
It is time to recognize that our nation is no longer a nation that quietly accepts racism. I believe that my generation commonly recognizes the atrocities of race-based mistreatment in our history. Yet, activists consistently divide us by the lives and actions of our ancestors. We are the generation of Americans with the opportunity to put it behind us. Not to forgive or forget but to progress to a new state of existence, where the color of your skin has no bearing on the content of your character or aptitude for success. Let us unite against those who seek to keep us divided.