Hair on Fire

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This is it my fellow Americans.

This is the moment I have been dreading for years. A part in our history where we return to some base instinct I thought we’d grown out of. I’m sad to say, but it’s been building for years, and our political leaders have done little to curb it, even going as far as to jokingly encourage it in some cases. Have we forgotten what it took for this country to get where it is today?

My grandfather fought in World War II. When his country rang the bell for freedom – not for itself – but for nations which were under the oppressive boot of a fascist regime, he answered the call. In the course of that bloody and terrible war he fought for an ideal, not because he wanted to go to war, few do. Yet he was pulled along by the hope that if something so terrifying would someday come to America’s shores, that someone else might come to help save his family and his country.

What took place in Charlottesville yesterday rests only in the most vile of human hearts. I am all for the freedom to voice your political opinion. Shout it from the rooftops if you so choose, but to turn a vehicle on an opposing protester and use it as a weapon goes beyond everything our country stands for. The event strikes at the very heart of our political discourse and shows that some among us are not prepared to live in a culture which believes in clear lines of decency.

This is not about which side has done it, as both now have. I am so tired of hearing politicos regurgitate the same feckless line “What about X side? Why aren’t you asking them about what they did?” as if that somehow balances out what happened yesterday. All forms of his cowardice are disgusting, and unless we want to continue seeing the bloody aftermath streamed in 4K on our television, we must as a country denounce it and remove the perpetrators from our discourse. They have no place here, as they have long since turned their back on what it means to be an American.  

Our ancestors fought and struggled to end conflicts around the world and here on our soil to form a more perfect union, knowing in their hearts that America would never be perfect, but that its citizens should work everyday to strive toward that goal. What took place in Charlottesville has them hiding their faces in horror, rolling over in their graves, and wondering what kind of children inherited the dream that America was.

Make no mistake this is a hair on fire moment.

It must catch our attention and hold it. Do not let such events fall into the background of your mind or social media feed, because surely this must be a reckoning for our country. We must know what possessed this man to terrorize his fellow Americans in such a disgusting fashion. We must send a message to the opposing side as well, those masked children parading as the Antifa. Their message is just as unwelcome, and their tactics must be denounced until all sides realize that by fighting each other, they do more harm to the country they say they care so much about. We must stop fighting among ourselves and focus back on the path this country was destined to take. I wish I could end this by saying that we as a whole are better than this, but I can’t. What happened in Charlottesville calls into question everything we are as a culture. We must stop and discern how we got here, then remind ourselves and those around is that this cannot be who we are.