This is America…. A gang of white men half masked walking in broad daylight with police escorts, all coordinated in their uniformed outfits dressed in khaki pants and caps, blue jackets, and white face masks, stormed the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington DC this past Saturday.
These withe nationalists were reportedly members and affiliates of the “Patriot Front” and according to reliable sources including The Southern Poverty Law Center, the “Patriot Front” is a mostly young group of white nationalists that that emerged out of the Charlottesville Virginia “Unite The Right” white extremist rally which turned deadly. At that rally, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi activist, James Fields, drove a car into an innocent group of people killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2018. Then-President Donald Trump failed to fully condemn these efforts and stated that “both sides” were somehow to blame for confrontations and the deadly 2017 incident. He refused to condemn white supremacy and many feel he fueled the tensions and newly inspired racist efforts that remind many of the prior Ku Klux Klan crimes against humanity in America.
This Patriot Front organization is apparently a spinoff from “Vanguard America,” another similar hate group involved in that dangerous rally. Unlike Vanguard America, the Patriot Front group reportedly focuses on well-produced “theatrics” and white nationalist rhetoric to enlist and engage members to their organization across the country.
From the videos captured this past Saturday, you could see and hear members saying all kinds of dangerous things along with the rally such as:
“Live, Liberty & Victory!”
“Get out the country if you don’t like it.”
As we learn more about these details, we continue to be challenged on why the government allows these aggressive white groups to assemble and promote their efforts to “reclaim America.” Reclaim it from whom? Reclaim it to do what? Are large numbers of white folks in their feelings about the diversification of America and people of color exercising their right to vote?
While there is no evidence this group had a lawful permit for their race stirring stunt, the group was heavily guarded and monitored. The Metropolitan Police spokesperson said that the “First Amendment demonstration was peaceful with no incidents or arrests.”
As we learn more about these details, we continue to be challenged on why the government allows these aggressive white groups to assemble and promote their efforts to “reclaim America.” Reclaim it from who? Reclaim it to do what? Are large numbers of white folks in their feelings about the diversification of America and people of color exercising their right to vote?
These actions are taking place during a tense time when national leaders ignore racist and violent comments by legislators, threats made on a Muslim Congresswoman, and almost an entire political party refusing to support The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, which is proposed legislation that would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, certain portions of which were struck down by United States Supreme Court decisions.
Indeed, these are indeed times to pay attention and fight these powers of violence and racism. This is America.