The recent murders by white supremacists—50 Muslims in New Zealand; 15 Jews in Pittsburgh; 9 African-American Christians in Charleston, South Carolina—remain dismissed by the current U.S. president. Asked about New Zealand, Trump maintained it was just a “small group,” but of course a “terrible thing.” After that he spent his weekend ranting about the late U.S. Senator John McCain. Similarly, when KKK neo-Nazis murdered a Jewish protestor in Charlottesville, Virginia, he said there had been “good people on both sides.”
“Good people” spoke out on 19 March during a candlelight vigil at Annapolis’s Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial, including Mayor Gavin Buckley, Congressman John Sarbanes, and County Executive Steuart Pittman. In what quickly became an anti-hate rally, hundreds of people from across the spectrum—Jews, Muslims, Christians, various political affiliations—gathered in a protest supported by the Caucus of African American Leaders, Anne Arundel Indivisible, the NAACP, Action Annapolis, and Showing Up for Racial Justice.
These horrific acts of racism join a long history of well-known terrorism. But with public policy and public outrage as the overwhelming response, hatred of others can never again be allowed to gain a foothold in our democracy.
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Carl Snowden leads the African American Caucus in Anne Arundel County. He is a life-long activist and columnist for the Capital Newspaper and The Arundel Patriot.