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By now, everyone is aware of the events that took place this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia: white nationalists from the surrounding region came out in droves to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee and counter protesters arrived to make their voices heard. Clashes between the two groups broke out, including a car attack that tragically left one woman dead and nineteen injured.
Unfortunately, the display of blatant racism shown this weekend is neither new nor surprising to many minority groups. Trump’s poor reaction to the events should not be surprising at this point either.
It is clear that we are reaching some sort of turning point in this country and I, for one, am hoping that change for the better will happen without having to witness the Second Civil War. But that cannot happen unless everyone who believes we need to do better takes it upon themselves to make sure we are addressing these nationwide problems as they appear in our own communities. Change starts at home.
That means calling out racism in our masajid and in our families. That means offering our daughters the same opportunities as our sons. That means supporting immigrant families as they adjust to life in a new country. That means accepting that other people have views and ways of living their lives that are different than yours.
Without that acceptance how different are we really to the torch-wielding white supremacists that were in Charlottesville?