After the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump’s response where he condemned “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” elicited a lot of justified anger.
Let’s start of by recognizing that Donald Trump often says and does things simply to elicit public response and anger.
However, this comment needs to be discussed not because it is simply another shocking and offensive statement by the Trump administration, but because it is so much more. This statement is not some far-right extremist message.
In fact, this statement amounts to nothing more than the weak-willed middle of the line message that is repeated daily in personal affairs or world events.
It’s the parent or teacher who sees one child being bullied by another and says that both need to learn to play nice.
It’s the person who, when they hear someone was raped, says that the victim might be equally at fault and they won’t pass judgement until they know “both sides.”
Some people live under the delusion that remaining neutral makes one more rational or open-minded. It does not.
There are not “many sides” responsible for hatred, bigotry, and violence.
There is one side, perpetuating a system of hatred and injustice and there is another, fighting for a just society.
Conflating these two as equally wrong causes immense harm. It helps uphold hateful and oppressive worldviews.
To create a fair and just society, we need to recognize a right and wrong side.