On August 12, a group of white nationalists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, VA to protest the removal of Confederate statues. Following the rally, which resulted in many injuries and three fatalities, Pres. Donald Trump failed to outwardly condemn the actions of the protesters, many of whom are his supporters, and originally stated that there was blame on “both sides” for the violence that occurred. We believe that Trump’s first statement blatantly disregards the decades of work done by individuals of all races to counteract actions of hate like these. By initially refusing to call out white supremacists by name, our president is condoning the despicable actions of the protesters and sending them the message that they have a powerful ally in the White House.
We recognize that the emergence of highly polarized special interest groups on both the right and the left is problematic for the future of American politics, and that Republicans and Democrats alike are to blame for many of our government’s recent failures. It is crucial that members of both the right and the left are willing to engage in peaceful, rational discourse, even if they face ideological disagreements. Those responsible for the attacks were all Americans who believed that they were superior to others solely because of the color of their skin. This ideology has a name – white supremacy – and Trump should have condemned it by that name instead of using vague language to skirt around a historically uncomfortable topic.
As members of The Record Editorial Board, we are responsible for delivering relevant and accurate news to the school community. This year, the board will not follow the precedent that our president has set in his response to the Charlottesville riots. We will not equivocate, we will strive to be clear and factual in each piece printed in our publication, and most importantly, we will stand true to the core values upheld in our school community. We will not take the easy way out when it comes to condemning racism and hate speech against any group. We encourage all students and teachers alike to engage with each other and listen to diverse perspectives, both in the classroom and in conversation.
While we work towards incorporating a wider range of viewpoints as a community, we encourage and welcome any and all community members to share their own opinions in The Record as well as with each other to model candid and communicative discourse as a means of voicing our beliefs.