On Saturday, August 26, 2017 I went to the San Francisco Civic Center to join in a political rally against the hatred and bigotry of a planned white supremacist rally elsewhere in the city. The images of the white nationalist rally and the death of Heather Heyer two weeks ago really affected me. President Trump’s attempts to make a false equivalency between the white nationalists and the people protesting the white nationalist bigotry deeply troubled me.
I walked through the crowd, taking photos and occasionally taking part in conversations. I met a Congregationalist minister who is trying to create a program to change the racist mindset. I talked to a few people from Berkeley who felt the necessity to attend both this rally and a rally in Berkeley tomorrow. The mood of the crowd was festive, although there was an undercurrent of worry about the racism, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, homophobia and bigotry that is becoming more visible in out society.
A man mentioned to me that all of us have prejudices. The question is: are we working to overcome our prejudices or are we consciously reinforcing our prejudices and bigotry? He made a good point. I know I’ve struggled with overcoming my own prejudices.
The big question that I have is this: how do we bridge the divide between the working class white communities that support Donald Trump and the minority communities that feel threatened by Donald Trump? I think that the divide between the two communities has fueled an increase in racism and bigotry in this country and is dangerous for the long term stability of our democracy. If we can bridge the divide between the working class white communities and minority communities, we can have a better understanding of each other and be able to find common ground to resolve many of the problems in this nation.