It would be fair to state that the events occurring on August 11th and 12th in Charlottesville, Virginia were the most abhorrent acts of injustice to be seen en masse in modern times. Historical books are filled with images of black bodies hanging from nooses. Although there are many Mature and Baby-Boom generation Americans who can recall, firsthand, the results of civil rights resistance. The black and white images of attack dogs and high powered water hoses directed towards black people should make any decent person cringe in disgust. Video footage of black men and women restrained to the point in which it results in death can leave a viewer without words to describe such events. So when a crowd of White Nationalist, Neo-Nazis, or whatever name you can give to a group of disgruntled White Supremacists wants to “Unite the Right”, opposition cannot help but to show up in protest.
I bring this maligned but relevant topic to this forum because it is a necessary reality that we, as people of the African Diaspora, will have to encounter not only as travelers outside of the United States, but as travelers within the United States. The NAACP’s travel advisory in Missouri reminded Americans of the injustices faced by Blacks within the United States. The current political and social climate has allowed fears overpower reason and judgement in order to create paths to bigotry of all forms.
Baker Henderson’s, an African American from Texas, death in Greece has led to over a month of unanswered questions and reasons behind his murder. Although 9 people have been charged, people of the African Diaspora have yet to receive clear explanations surrounding the crime and formal statements from government leaders. This is unacceptable. Or if this particular topic of race relations were to be discussed, would it lead to an uncomfortable exploration of interracial fraternization abroad.
As global citizens, we cannot let these instances pile up onto precarious mound of instability. Our legacy of resiliency and tenacity has us ready for the road ahead. We will not forget the fallen brothers and sisters no longer in this realm due to the callousness of racism. There were also some casualties as a result of the violence in Charlottesville on August 12th. Let us not forget their courage as well. As the world watches, the current White House administration fails to unify the nation by not acknowledging a history of White oppression and violence.
Our ancestors have already paved a road to resistance. Burning crosses, Nazi symbols, and what may be perceived as benign, or even comical, tiki torches are meant to intimidate. Due to the insurmountable current circumstances, we cannot afford to be passive.
Be cautious my fellow World Wanderers, but keep striving!