Following the horrible incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one person died after a car plowed into a group of counter-protester, the media has left a little room for the event and lay all the spotlight on Donald Trump. Especially, after his speech fails to condemned the White nationalist group including KKK and Neo-Nazis. And even though two days later (that’s right it took him two days) he finally condemned those groups; He still insisted that the blame should be shared between the both sides, which means, the left (who some may argue are the victims) is also in his mind equally responsible for the death of one of their people. I know, a bit confusing his logic is.
Apart from this baffling moral and reasoning error on Trump’s part, his argument (setting aside the rationale behind it) is not entirely wrong. The left do share some of the blame for the conflict that happened on the weekend. I have to reiterate the word some, because that is the only part where I may sound a little bit agreeing with the Donald.
The consequence of being in a democratic country is that being right, does not always mean that what you do in the name of it is righteous. Because if reason is what the society should upheld, then reason should be the only solution for any problems Resorting into protest without engaging in conversation, even though admittedly the conversation would be a tough ones, will only separate the two sides even further.I mean yes, protest is one part of democracy, but it is only effective if it is followed by a productive discussions.
I do agree that white supremacist’s view is outdated and has no place in modern society. Hence, our (the people who opposes it) view, if (and i believe it is) it is the right one, should be explained instead of enforced. Again, being right, doesn’t always mean that you’re doing the righteous thing. And by merely doing a counter-protest and (even worse) being involved in the same kind of violence as they are, hoping that they would suddenly change their mind is not only unreasonable but also naive.
Say that the left is a parent that has a kid, let’s name them the right, that struggles with math at school. He, would constantly get an F for his math exam, and doesn’t understand why it is the case. He just doesn’t understand how math works. Being a parent that has a good math background, would you just shout at the kid every time he gets an F hoping that he would suddenly perform and get an A? Would you call that parent reasonable?
You know all the right ways to get an A, but by merely telling the kid that what they’re doing is wrong and keep shouting 1+1=2 repeatedly without teaching them the logic of counting would not be the righteous thing to do. And repeatedly shouting to them telling them that they’re stupid does not help as well. Instead, the parent should sit with the kid and teach them the various logic and guide them step by step.
Moreover, and this is also critical in the progress, the parent should have a feasible expectation. You cannot, as a parent expect a kid that has an F his entire life, suddenly gets an A. At many cases, the parent should meet in the middle and compromise with the kid having a C. In democracy , progress towards reason is more important than being right. Because that’s the essence of pure democracy at the first place. To marry different reasoning and to seek for the best middle ground that suits the society. Of course when their logic is flawed, we shouldn’t compromise and simply accept some of their logic. That’s not meeting in the middle, that’s just giving up to stubbornness. Instead, we can appeal to their insecurity (because let’s admit it, their racist tendency originates from insecurity and fear) and try to engage in a more productive conversation.
Moreover, following the incident, some left groups choose to forcibly remove a confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina. I get why they do it, but I do think what they’re doing is wrong. We choose to live in a democratic society that upholds the rule of law. The force removal of confederate statue, albeit that it is offensive and outdated, should have been done through the appropriate rule of law. Taking it down by force would only make us like the same monster we condemn on the right.
At the end, what Trump said is wrong. There is no place for such hatred and close mindedness that the white supremacist group represent in this modern world, and somebody as powerful as him should become the forefront in denouncing such groups. Unless, he do believe in the value that white supremacists group represent, after which, the U.S. I think has gone decades backwards in their progress towards democracy.
I’m sure you can find better discussion in assessing trump’s reaction to this on CNN or New York Times.
Nevertheless, we must be aware that our reaction to it now, will determine our relationship in the future with the so-called right. It is inevitable that we have to live side by side and try to find peace with each other, and the way we have been reacting to them so far,contradicts the progress towards a more reasonable, peaceful and democratic society. The right needs to move a bit to the centre and so does the left. Standing stubbornly in one side shouting “I’m right and you’re wrong” will never yield a productive outcome. In fact, it may make things worse by creating an “us against them” mentality.
“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” —T.R.