At the root, the protest in Charlottesville started from a very simple place. The statue of Robert E Lee was going to be removed - and Lee Park where it had resided since 1924 to be renamed Emancipation Park. But by the end of the day, lives would be lost and people around the country were at each other's throats. I'll start by warning you right now, before you read any further, that I voted for Donald Trump in our last election. If that bothers you then you may not want to continue reading. But if you are willing to be open-minded join the conversation.
What got me started thinking about all this was a fellow tarot reader insisting essentially that because I am white that I am racist, and denying that I am racist makes me even more so... Wait? WHAT? That makes no sense. But that is a familiar thing to hear in this post election society. So I sat down to try and put to words how I really feel - so here goes:
1. I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE NAZI IDEOLOGY
However (stick with me folks), in this country you have a constitutional right to assemble, and to free speech. It doesn't mean I like what you say, but I will 100% stick up for your right to say it - because if we start picking and choosing who can say what then we might as well pack it in. The Unite the Right group LEGALLY obtained a permit for their gathering, which was in response to the removal of a Confederate statue and the re-naming of a park. These people (and they were not all Nazis and KKK) are tired of the constant need our country seems to have to remove all traces of any history that we don't like. News flash, tearing down a statue doesn't mean the event never happened. All you are telling the world is that you are not a big enough person to learn from the lessons that history teaches us.
This group started out peacefully, all be it while saying some things that most of us would not want to hear. This happens time and time again, not just in Charlottesville. Somewhere along the line our society has decided that if you don't like what someone says or stands for then it is perfectly ok to use violence to silence them. Counter protesters showed up with bats, balloons full of urine and feces, and in some pictures I have even seen cans of hairspray turned into mini flamethrowers. When you show up and confront a group with these items, I'm sorry, but what do you expect to happen? Of course tensions spilled over and violence erupted. However, where I seem to lose people in my argument is that I believe that the police didn't do enough to protect the Unite the Right group. Yep, you heard that right. They were a legally permitted group, and the police had a duty to defend their right to gather. It's hard for me to say this, because I have family in law enforcement, but it is the same argument I used when Milo was driven out of UC Berkeley. The police in that case were told to stand down...
2. I DON'T CARE WHAT COLOR YOUR SKIN IS - I WILL ADVOCATE FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Just as I don't agree with the Nazis and the KKK, neither do I agree with Black Lives Matter. They may have started out with the best of intentions, but they have literally devolved into a domestic terrorist group. Let me say it again, DOMESTIC TERRORIST.
Any group who reacts to a police shooting by chanting in the streets "What do we want? DEAD COPS! When do we want it? NOW" is no better then the Unite the Right crowd. Committing violence to get your point across isn't going to win you any friends. And it is exactly what the BLM accuses other groups of doing... which to me reeks of hypocrisy. Rioting and burning YOUR neighborhood down in protest is ludicrous. Here's another tidbit - I can dislike what BLM stands for while still supporting the black men and women of this country. I am not so arrogant to believe that BLM speaks for every black person in this country.
However, if you want to gather in a group, in a legal and peaceful way then I support you 100%. But guess what? I don't have to agree with your position. That is the beauty of this country. I can believe what I want, and you can believe in what you want. I'm a firm believer that nothing will ever get solved until we are willing to have an open, non judgmental dialogue about the problems. But burning down cities, advocating violence towards police? Not helping at all.
Where I struggle personally on a day to day basis is to accept that there are people who have made up their minds, and there isn't anything that I am going to say that will change that. It is a tough thing for someone like me, a Libra, because I have this desire to be liked by people. I work hard everyday not to let myself get sucked into the internet debates, or Facebook discussions. At the end of the day these conversations ultimately devolve and no one is left feeling good after that....
3. MY ABILITY AS A TAROT READER OR WORTH AS A PERSON DOESN"T HAVE A DAMN THING TO DO WITH WHO I VOTED FOR
Yes, I voted for Donald Trump. NO, I do not agree with everything that he says or does. But I voted for him because I was tired of the unemployment rate, our economy, the way we constantly deal with every other countries problems rather then our own, and the friends and family who served in our military who are unable to get decent health care.
I voted from a place that not everyone comes from. I lost my house in 2012, both in part to the housing market and because of Hurricane Irene. Obama's program to make homes affordable did nothing to help us - we were told we weren't in ENOUGH trouble to qualify. I wanted truly AFFORDABLE health care, because to me a $600/mo premium and a $20,000 deductible was not affordable. I am a mother to six children, but I don't want everything handed to them. I want them to have to do more then simply participate to get ahead in life - I want them to know what it is to work for what you want. I am a small business owner, who wants to see it not be made cost prohibitive for me to take care of my family. I shut down my previous business, which involved homemade bath and body products because the regulations became very prohibitive for those of us without the money for legal fees and compliance with increasingly anti small business regulation. I have a husband who is disabled, so what I earn pays the bills. Is it wrong of me to want more of that money to go into my pocket?
So when someone judges me on the basis solely of who I voted for, or the color of my skin - yeah, it hurts. I have spent years developing my skills as a reader and have read for people of every race, religion, sexuality from all corners of the globe. I offer my guidance every day without judging people and their situations. Sometimes it is difficult, like when you get that reading about someone cheating on their spouse, but when all is said and done, people come back to me because I am able to do the work without interjecting my personal belief system.
So at the end of the day, if a person feels like I am racist simply because I voted for someone, or because I happened to be born a different skin color, then that is on them. Hating me and where I come from because I am WHITE is racism - the same thing I am being accused of! And if you find yourself in the same boat, then you have my sympathy. I'd love us to reach a point where we can accept each other and stop bringing color into it.
Because we get nowhere without discussion and different viewpoints - I want to hear from you. Tell me how you feel in the comments below!
22 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!