On the morning of the 12th August 2017, the world woke up to visuals, news stories and accounts of a white supremacist group uniting in Charlottesville, Virginia, the USA. The group, which consisted of KKK members, Trump supporters and right wing conservatives, chanted "White Lives Matter" and protested against the alleged discrimination of white Americans by the American government.
This story is not that surprising since there was a KKK gathering in the same town not so long ago. However, the violence and intimidation that this group committed were so severe that people were killed for protesting against them. This begs the question: why have these violent acts not been labelled as "terrorism"?
If we simply look up the word "terrorism" in the Oxford dictionary or in any objective dictionary for that matter, we will see that terrorism is defined as, "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." This basic definition is an accurate description of the way these white supremacist groups were acting in Charlottesville and in other places in the USA and around the world. They brutally assault individuals who oppose their viewpoints, and recently, have gone to the extent of killing people too.
To assault and intimidate others to the extent of killing and injuring them in order to impose your viewpoints, is, in fact, terrorism.
In the UK, white supremacist and nationalist extremists have been throwing acid on individuals. These despicable actions have mainly been taking place in London, which has usually been an inclusive, open city for all races, genders, religions and sexualities. These extremists have been targeting Muslims especially and these forms of assault and hate crimes are most definitely actions of terrorism. In addition to this, a few months ago, a white nationalist in the UK drove a van into Muslims who were leaving a mosque in London, killing one and injuring others.
In the USA, white supremacy and the brutality of the alt-right and Nazis are on the rise. In Charlottesville, at the "Unite The Right" rally, Heather Heyer was murdered and 19 others were injured because of the brutal, grotesque attacks by these hateful individuals. To assault and intimidate others to the extent of killing and injuring them in order to impose your viewpoints, is, in fact, terrorism.
The truth of the matter is that political leaders, the media and society have attempted to alter the definition of terrorism so that it fits their racial profiling agenda. According to most bigots and unfortunately, political leaders, terrorism can only be applied to people of colour and those who are Muslim. Because of this sad reality, a defensive barrier is immediately put up for these white supremacists and they are never labelled as terrorists. Only recently has a political leader labelled a white supremacist as a terrorist and that was London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
To fellow white individuals, we need to be effective allies by engaging and educating other white people about their ignorant, discriminatory beliefs.
The time for discussions is coming to a close. More action and decisions need to be taken immediately to tackle the rise of hate and division around the world. The evils of white supremacy and racism need to be dealt with and it starts with us. To fellow white individuals, we need to be effective allies by engaging and educating other white people about their ignorant, discriminatory beliefs.
It is not fair to leave it to black people to explain to their oppressors why they are being oppressed. We can all make a difference by either uniting in movements and marches or by lobbying with political leaders to take action against those who seek to reverse everything which freedom fighters, civil rights activists and protesters have achieved.
It all starts with us.