Oklahomans Push Back Against Racism
As white supremacy shows its face in America, hundreds Oklahomans came together at the capitol for reassurance.progressive advocates continue to push back against the far right movement.
Kasey Greenshaw, Co-Founder and President-Elect of Oklahoma Progressive Network, said she could not believe that Nazi flags would be publicly flow in 2017.
“When I first heard about the events in Charlottesville, my initial reaction was disbelief,” she said. “How, in 2017, are there Americans proudly marching with Nazi flags in public?”
Last weekend the Ku Klux Klan, and several Neo-Nazi organizations charged the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, out of protest due to the removal of a statue.
“Having a President that refuses to immediately condemn their hatred, and suggests that there is hate, ‘on many sides’, has given them the comfort level to spew their hate” Greenhaw said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center recorded there were 42 hate groups in Virginia,and over 900 in the United States.
The planned removal of the statue in April sparked outrage in far right organizations in Virginia and the rest of the United States.
However it also prompted other states to tear down their confederate monuments.
North Carolina residents tore down a Confederate statue without the consent of city officials. After the riot on August 11th, white supremacists lined the streets and terrorized the city.
Reports said that three people died and roughly 30 people were injured during the attack.Heather Hayes, a 32 year old woman, was killed after she was struck by a car being driven by a white supremacist.
Two state troopers, part of Virginia’s Aviation Unit, were killed in a helicopter crash during the event. The Aviation Commander Lt. Jay Cullen, and helicopter pilot Berk M. M. Bates were shot down after attempting to give resources to the ground officers.
According to The Richmond Times, state’s police spokesperson Corinne Geller said, “the officers were just doing their jobs.”
The Richmond times reported the officers “were simply assisting the ground resources by forwarding them the aerial optics. Fights were breaking out between the rally participants and counter protesters in a wide radius around the site of protest.”
The Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe issued a statement Monday, August 14th saying the events of the weekend have only strengthened (our) resolve to combat hatred and bigotry.
“I want Virginia to be a leader in the national conversation about how we move forward,” McAuliffe said. “I have directed my team to impanel a commission with representatives from community organizations, faith leaders, and law enforcement to make actionable recommendations for executive and legislative solutions to advance our mission of reconciliation, unity, and public safety.”
Cities around the United States mourned the deaths and have pushed back against the Nazi movement.
Oklahoma City residents took part in a vigil at the State Capitol. The advocacy group Indivisible Oklahoma sponsored the event.
The group said over 300 people gathered that night to showed their support for the grieving city.
Hundreds gathered and showed their support.
A Several speakers addressed the issue, offering guidance for white allies and advice on what people should do in unsettling situations.unsettling situations.
“It was shocking to me to see the hatred, particularly the racism, and nNazi signs that used to be hidden,” said Cheryl Tobin, 70, of Oklahoma City. “I knew there were people like that but now I have realized, since the election of Trump, and [what happened] in Charlottesville, how many people have anger in their hearts.”
Tobin,, who spoke at the vigil said she heard people mumbling hatefully during the Obama administration, but never expected it to get this far.
“I started my little activism in the the 60’s with the the Civil Rights Movement during the Vietnam war,” she said. she said. Tobin decided to become an activist again despite being retired from her work as a social worker.
“I thought I’ll sit back in my recliner, and let someone else do it, but then it struck me,” she said. “Because, like Ii said in my speech, I remember when I heard about the Holocaust, and I thought how did that hate take over [Germany].”
Tobin said she wondered where the good people were from during during the Holocaust and and who stood in silence when the Nazi party the Nazi Party in German was interviewed after the war,, saying ‘‘they didn’t want to be a bother to their neighbors.’’
“Every white person that claims not to be racist should be speaking out on social media,” Kelsey Greenhaw said. “Silence is complicity, whether we want to admit it or not.”
As for the events in Virginia, Governor McAuliffe had some advice for White Nationalists.
“My message is clear: we are stronger than you, you have made our town stronger,” he said. “There is no place for you here, there is no place for you in America.”