Society is not equal. It never has been. Yet, we strive for its possibility. Companies with over 250 employees must now report on the gender pay gap within their organisation. We don’t talk of a mandatory racial or ethnic gap pay report, however.
Pew Research suggested last year that Hispanic women earn 58% as much as a white man does in an hour, with this figure for black men at 73%. Possible causes could be because black and Hispanic individuals are less likely to obtain college education (university), allowing them to progress into a high-paying career. But even with a college degree, the racial pay gap still persists.
A fair society would pay individuals the same amount of money for the same work. Therefore, we are not thriving in equality.
Would the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia have happened if society was equal though?
In U.S. law, freedom of speech and expression is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the former is a human right recognised by the International Declaration of Human Rights. Free speech is strongly protected, as the nation is a democracy.
As my grandfather would call me, a leftie, I am strongly opposed to the alt-right, fascism, white supremacy, and plain authoritarianism. I know for a fact that this works the other way round too, having browsed through the neo-Nazi followers of Daily Stormer’s Twitter account, a website advocating for white supremacy.
When Trump warned of ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’, I did not expect this to materialise in the violent clashes between the civil rights activists and the fascists, resulting in the death of one activist. The aftershock sees Google and GoDaddy expelling Daily Stormer’s domain. As I predicted, banning the website to be viewed legally has now moved underground to the dark web, according to Motherboard.
But does the alt-right movement poses more of a threat now it cannot be surveyed?
Just like the failed war on drugs, closed doors and barriers do not always work. We should not feel the need to protect one’s ears and shut one’s eyes from views and opinions we disagree with or feel disgusted by. I know for a fact that I am against racism and fascism, but the other view should still be talked about and discussed critically in an open space.
Today’s culture seems to impose restrictions on views and freedom to the point that I believe our opinions probably did not matter to begin with. I am not an apologist for white supremacy or neo-Nazism, as I do think it is more objectively incriminating than being subjectively aligned to your moral compass.
The post-WW2 legality of the Nazi swastika extends to the U.S. by yet again, the First Amendment. Legally, we must accept that conflicting views to ours are going to take place. Or we can act with moral hindsight and we can protest, like the activists did in Charlottesville, in wake of the neo-Nazi’s idolisation and adulation of Trump.
Trump had a duty as POTUS to condemn the violence that was carried out by the Nazi sympathisers, whatever his personal opinions (which clearly aren’t all too aligned with mine). As a white, privileged man, he should stand up for all races and allow his citizens to feel protected. It is upsetting to see this is not the case. By his overt racism and denouncing of illegal immigrants, he is effectively giving a platform for people to debate and critique, but there is danger in freedom too.
We cannot eradicate or suppress history. Future generations should learn of the tragedies of the millions of Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust by the name of evil that is Nazism. We cannot tell children how to think either, but trust that they will make up their own mind and make morally unambiguous decisions. Unfortunately, the Internet is a playground for a rainbow of opinions, and children can be easily manipulated by propaganda.
The success of driving Daily Stormer underground is to ensure that children do not become radicalised. Islamic extremist websites are also found in the dark web, so this relieves some equality. Yet, white supremacists who do have children may still bring the whole family to rallies and meet-ups, where children are then submerged with one, overbearing opinion, giving them the means to become just like their KKK-associated parents.
Without sounding defeatist, it merely appears that these abominable views will still live on, particularly under a President who does not see achieving equality as a priority.
I worry as to how this movement will transpire in the U.S., and feel somewhat grateful that the far-right who have advocated for a hard Brexit aren’t all too bad. Well, until they start coming at Parliament with small torches anyway.