#Charlottesville

I feel like I need to preface this particular commentary with a bit of a disclaimer or at least explanation I believe racism and even more than racism – prejudice transcends the traditional boundaries of white and black extending to any number of “colors” and includes ethnicity, beliefs and orientations. Unfortunately, humanity has not managed to constrain its ability to hate based solely on the observation that someone is different than I am. What I sometimes find truly puzzling is that even groups that have traditionally been on the receiving side of systemic prejudice manage to manufacture plenty of their own.

As I am sure most of you have seen on your local news, social media or any number of other places we are witnessing another flare up of racial intolerance and hate in Charlottesville VA. I’m not going to comment on that specifically, you don’t need me to tell you why this type of behavior is abhorrent – however don’t make the mistake of thinking the revocation of “free speech” is the answer – it isn’t; that protection exists for all of us and the erosion of it, even for a group such as this, affects us all.

But what has me a bit worked up this morning is the number of shares on my social media quoting some preacher, politician, or celebrity decrying the situation in Charlottesville, they use words like: terrorist, Nazi, extremist and so on – point is they are worked up and outraged and many people are rallying to this message and sharing it with their endorsement, good for you I say.

However, I have only one real question… where was the ferocity of your rage yesterday, last week, last year? Where will it be tomorrow, next week or next month? When the torches have been put out and the crowds have disbursed and we return to the mundane everyday racism and prejudice that hides in the shadows of our everyday lives, where will your fervent outcry be then? Will we still see your pointed posts, will you still be preaching it from your pulpits? You see the problem is we already know the answer… and unfortunately most will return to their tepid outrage and tacit acceptance of “that’s just how it is…”

You know there is a word for this… hypocrisy…

About the Author

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Born in Manhattan in 1965 Joseph Castagno is the son of a second generation Italian American father. His mother’s family were mixed heritage people: Indigenous Haudenosaunee, French, some of the earliest Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. Growing up with such a multicultural heritage provided him with a view of both the immigrant experience, a perspective on the founding principles and ideals of the United States as well as the original teachings and ways of Northeastern Indigenous people. Having lived all over the United States Joseph has a broad perspective on US society and the variety of social values and customs that make up this great country. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Tammy, having raised four children they are now enjoying their grandchildren. Joseph has always had a passion for reading and writing and has published a number of articles in local papers and magazines. After a long career in healthcare he published his first novel “Jake” in 2016 drawing on his experiences and observations living in the Southeast and Florida. His current novel “Traffic” has just been published and he is currently working on his next novel and spoiling his granddaughters!

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