Lately, the media has been increasing the mention of a loosely termed group called the Alt-Right. Yes, I am concerned about a shift towards racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-Semitism in American society. However, I cannot solely blame Trump for waking the sleeping lion. Instead, I somewhat lay blame towards universities and our educations system and the way it provides discourse. While it may be true that we do need safe spaces and some ground rules for the exchange of language. What may have created a misguided method without the other side having a viewpoint or voice? I have learned that if you do not allow a voice to be heard, even if it is racist, bigoted and filled with hate speech, then it will become a quiet storm brewing. At some point, it will explode with many followers and may accidentally capture more members.
We may hear such adage such as “education is essential” or the beautiful, provocative poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller that begins “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out.” This was perhaps our warning. We don’t educate nor do we provide a flexible voice platform for all. Instead, there is, what George Carlin referred to as, the illusion that we have liberty, freedom, and equality. In actuality, we do not. American society is consistently barraged with white washed speech usually leaving one side silent further reducing a platform to be heard. It is easy to lay blame at shock media such as Rush Limbaugh or other conservatives. But media hosts such as Limbaugh have been providing this theory for decades. Many conservatives became silent until this powderkeg moment. It blew up silently and lethal. This is where the Alt-Right will continue to grow and shift safe speech into a “you had your decades of that” rhetoric. Perhaps another reason the Alt-Right continues to grow is that it doesn’t want to research what it truthful or credible. In defense of the Alt-Right, I agree that locating reliable sources in today’s world has become rather difficult.
I am not worried about what Trump and his administration will do in the next presidential term. What I am concerned about is what we as Americans will not do just like the other presidential terms starting with Civil Rights. I remember the words of John F. Kennedy saying, Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Are we going to sit idle and watch protected classes become unprotected? I certainly hope not. I hope we become once again a credible society with a voice for everyone in hopes we can learn from one another in peace. So far the national division is killing us.