America’s deep political partisan divisions have led to the destruction of a standard of human decency in political debate, which we must challenge: the increasing assignment of racial hate and extremist groups to political organizations and individuals. We must call for a STOP to such such racial hate and the perversion of the U.S. political debate to leverage hate.
Let us recognize and remember the difference between racial extremist organizations and the overwhelming majority of those involved in mainstream politics. We cannot simply abandon the past 50 years of progress on racial equality, compassion, dignity, and respect in America, due to the political passions and concerns of what are a very small minority of individuals in America. The fact remains that, in the United States of America, we not only can change hearts, but we have demonstrated that we have.
As a non-partisan human rights advocacy group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) does not “take sides” on political partisan issues. R.E.A.L. is adverse to even reference political issues. But the continued “normalization” of racial hate organizations, and use of racial hate slurs, messages, and demonization in politics is a disgrace that belongs in America’s past. We call for the American people to set down the mud to be thrown at one another. History has shown that the American people can and will be better than this. The American people must rise to the challenge of their destiny.
Half a century ago, the past racial debates on politics, when there was still “white clientele only” signs legally posted in America, the U.S. faced even more difficult national problems. Our political debate then included a presidential candidate who sought legalized racial segregation. But even with this dire threat to our political system, human compassion, mercy, and dignity still won among the American people. We know this. This is a proven historical fact. Many of us, including R.E.A.L.’s founder, was part of such past change, and we have seen this with our own eyes. We can and we will change hearts on racial hate.
The continuing efforts by political figures, media figures, and political activists today to seek to assign and align political groups and individuals with racial hate groups, ignores this history and the sacrifice of so many. Among those martyrs for American human rights and dignity, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not give his LIFE so that we would tarnish his sacrifice by hating one another, and “normalizing” racial hate groups to our political activities.
Our leaders seem to be have lost their voice on this, so R.E.A.L. will help them in what we know is in their hearts: “For Shame.”
The position of R.E.A.L. in challenging “white nationalism” extremism and “black nationalism” extremism, among any other anti-equality extremist movements, is well-documented. But let us reiterate it in simple terms: Wrong = Wrong.
A popular media figure has chosen to rephrase this concept as “two wrongs and what’s right” and “not all punches are equal.” I am sorry that Dr. King is not alive to speak to such individuals. But a political recalculation of basic ethics to fit a political narrative is still wrong. 2+2 still equals 4. Wrong still is Wrong. None of us are above the law. We will not defeat Hate with Hate. Hate and Violence are Not the Answer.
We see a willful suspension of ethics and decency to slur and slander every and any political candidate with a racial hate group. This has become far from just isolated incidents at this point. It has become a common practice, and it is a disgrace. It is a disgrace to the sacrifices of so many who worked and continue to work – to challenge hate (not with more hate) with compassion, mercy, dignity, equality. It also a disgrace by the very small minority in national politics actually associated with such hate. But by “normalizing” and associating any and every political candidate with a racial hate group, this only helps the racial hate groups themselves.
In the moments before a national election in the U.S., we see one media associating one political candidate stating receiving funds from “white nationalists” and we see another media associating another political candidate with “black nationalists” with machine guns. The Society of Professional Journalists needs to find a voice on the journalism code of ethics. We need journalism reporting facts and context; political activism (let alone using racial hate groups to demonize “the other”) is not part of the journalism code of ethics.
One of the common practices of racial supremacist groups is to portray themselves as endless victims, who are so endangered that human rights, compassion, mercy, dignity are no longer options. So it is no suprise to see that the Stormfront white supremacist site, the source of so much hate and calls for violence, now views themselves as “the voice of the new, embattled White minority.” Those who continue to feed such a narrative, whether they are in politics or in the media, need to learn restraint and respect for Equality.
We can challenge and urge change in thinking and behavior, but the venom and hatred, even calls for violence, towards those in politics with whom we disagree – as human beings – must stop. Hate does not stop Hate. We not only know this, America has proven this in its history. We did not achieve the dramatic changes across diverse society through Hate. We did it through Mercy, Compassion, and a Respect for Equality.
The idea that we can and should “normalize” racial hate extremists as a practice of political activism or political reporting is simply contempt towards democracy itself. We must stop empowering racial hate extremists groups as somehow “normal” in our political lives, when they reject the very democracy that U.S. politics depends on.
We reject racial hate because we support the equality, human rights, and trust that is necessary for democracy. But the continuing upraised fist of American political partisans seem to be willing to overlook any breach in public trust. When this results in a “normalization” of racial hate groups as part of “mainstream” political activism, this is not only a political attack, it is also an attack on our shared universal human rights.
We must reject the upraised fist of hate, whether it is based on race, religion, ethnic background, gender, or politics, towards our fellow human beings and fellow Americans. Hate is Not the Answer.
We can and must make other choices. We can choose to offer an outstretched hand, not an upraised fist, in respecting Equality – especially for those not like us and those we may not like. Our human family must have bigger hearts, conscience, and mercy. We can seek an ocean of restraint, compassion, dignity, and equality for one another, rather than the bitter and toxic pool of hate.
We can appeal to the American people on human rights, equality, decency, and THE TRUTH. We agreed to this as a nation. These are not just universal human rights; “We hold these Truths to be self-evident” – as a very definition of what it means to be an American.
Let us remember this and vow to be Responsible for Equality And Liberty.