Three years ago on Sept 4th, it was Labor Day. We participated in the national March Against Hate in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, VA that decided to take down the racist symbolic statue of Robert E. Lee and held a rally.
The townsfolk were set upon by angry young right-wing militia types that carried Nazi and Confederate flags who did not live in the town demanding that the statue stay up. A young woman from Charlottesville who helped organize the rally was run over by a Neo-Nazi or KKK member’s car and killed. They also beat up a young Black man.
So on Labor Day marches and rallies all over the country took place in solidarity with those who wanted to honor the people of Charlottesville’s decision to take down the statue and to oppose the Neo-Nazi’s and KKK marches. They also were opposing President Trump’s remarks of tacit support for these right-wing racist groups. He even said that they were “some good people.” He also tried to equate the racist invaders of the town with the anti-racists who were holding a peaceful demonstration.
So we participated in the rally in Asbury Park on Sept 4. I wrote and an OP-ED Article that appeared in the local area newspaper The Coaster entitled, “Why I March Against Hate;” prior to the march. The article is still relevant and unfortunately, things in this country have gotten only worse. Though now there is a much stronger reform movement that has led to some reforms. More needs to be done.
Under this President, violence in the streets of cities has increased. Trump has called out the white nationalist militia to confront protesters. It has helped to increase violence. This is Trump’s plan. He wants the violence to increase so he can claim to be for “law and order”. But Biden is correct to call out that this is going on under his watch. The President is also instigating it with his remarks. This includes his apparent support for the young racist murderer in Kenosha. Trump claims it “looks like he was acting in self-defense” after he shot a white man in the back and killed him. Meanwhile, police did nothing despite people telling the officers about a guy carrying a rifle and looking dangerous. Sad.
Ralph Palladino is Second Vice President of Local 1549, DC 37 AFSCME.