El racismo sigue latiendo en América
Racism still alive in America

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PULASKI, TN - JULY 11: Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in the 11th Annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march July 11, 2009 in Pulaski, Tennessee. With a poor economy and the first African-American president in office, there has been a rise in extremist activity in many parts of America. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2008 the number of hate groups rose to 926, up 4 percent from 2007, and 54 percent since 2000. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and played a role in the postwar establishment of the first Ku Klux Klan organization opposing the reconstruction era in the South. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Análisis por William R. Wynn
bill@lasemanadelsur.com

TULSA, OK – El asesinato de una joven mujer que protestaba ante una marcha de supremacía blanca en Charlottesville, Virginia, el pasado fin de semana, nos muestra que a dos décadas de haber ingresado en el siglo XXI todavía debemos erradicar el racismo tan arraigado en la sociedad americana.

Heather Heyer, de 32 años, estaba protestando contra la marcha del grupo “Unite the Right” el 12 de agosto cuando fue arrollada por un auto de policía que arremetió contra la multitud disconforme. El vehículo era manejado por James Alex Fields Jr., un joven de 20 años oriundo de Ohio que había viajado a Virginia para participar de la marcha por la supremacía blanca.

El domingo vecinos de Tulsa se reunieron en el parque de la reconciliación en una vigilia contra la violencia.

A pesar de lo terrible del ataque, muchos en Estados Unidos y el resto del mundo han expresado su preocupación ante las ambiguas declaraciones del presidente Donald Trump, quien decidió culpar tanto a los que participaban en contra de la marcha como a los defensores de los Nazis y el racismo del fatídico episodio. Horas más tarde el presidente decidió denunciar públicamente al racismo y al Ky Klux Klan, pero sólo después de que tres miembros prominentes del consejo americano de manufacturas – los CEOs de Intel, Merck, y Under Armour – renunciaran como protesta a las nulas declaraciones del republicano.

A 152 años del final de la guerra civil y la abolición de la esclavitud, este incidente prueba que las tensiones raciales siguen siendo un tema candente en el país, particularmente en los estados sureños donde las memorias de esos tiempos difíciles parecen encontrarse por doquier. Muchos estados confederados han reconocido estas cuestiones y decidido remover las banderas y estatuas que celebraban los controversiales legados racistas, de sitios de honor público.

A pesar de esto seguimos sin entender que es lo que mueve los sentimientos nacionalistas con tanto fervor, un frenesí que hasta da autorización a matar a quienes piensan distinto. Hay quienes creen que la elección de Trump, en parte por su retórica anti-minorias y anti-hispana, ha permitido revivir los discursos racistas que estaban ocultos desde fines de los años 60’. De hecho el ex líder del KKK, David Duke admitió en la marcha de Charlottesville que está seguro de que Donald Trump comparte su visión del mundo.

“Este es un punto de quiebre para la gente de nuestro país”, dijo Duke. “Estamos determinados a recuperar nuestro país. Vamos a cumplir con las promesas de Donald Trump. En eso creemos, por eso lo elegimos; porque él nos dijo que iba a volver a hacer de Estados Unidos un gran país, y eso es lo que tenemos que hacer”.

Si bien Trump condenó al KKK y dijo que era una organización criminal que defendia el racismo, que era pura maldad, para muchos la condena llegó mucho más tarde de lo aceptable. La era Trump continua siendo una en la que los David Dukes de la nación se sienten con energía y derecho. Un presidente que tilda a millones de mexicanos americanos de asesinos, violadores y narcotraficantes, y que le dice a la policía que está bien detener

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Analysis by William R. Wynn
bill@lasemanadelsur.com

TULSA, OK – The killing of a young woman protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend shows that, nearly two decades into the 21st century, the scourge of racism has yet to be eradicated from American society. Heather Heyer, 32, was demonstrating against a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 when she was struck and killed by a car police said was driven into the crowd by James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man who had travelled to Virginia to attend the white supremacist rally.

Tulsans gathered Sunday evening at Reconciliation Park for a vigil against the violence.

As disturbing as the attack was, many in the United States and around the world were also concerned that U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s initial statements about the attack seemed ambiguous and, some thought, placed equal blame for the violence on those who were protesting the Nazi and racist themes of the rally. Trump did later specifically denounce racism and the Ku Klux Klan by name, but not before three prominent members of the president’s American Manufacturing Council – the CEOs of Intel, Merck, and Under Armour – resigned in protest over Trump’s lukewarm first response.

152 years after the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the United States, the incident is proof positive that racial tensions still run hot in this country, particularly in the southern states where reminders of even worse times are ubiquitous. Many former Confederate states have recognized this and are working to remove flags and statues celebrating their racially tarnished legacies from places of public honor.

And yet, what is that drives white nationalist sentiments to such a fever pitch as to kill those who disagree with the mindset? Some argue that the election of Trump, in no small part due to his extreme rhetoric targeting minorities – chiefly Latinos – has given rise to a rebirth of racist views that had been sidelined in the decades since the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. In fact, none other than former KKK leader David Duke spoke at the Charlottesville rally, stating in no uncertain terms that he believes his vision is Trump’s vision as well.

“This represents a turning point for the people of this country,” Duke said. “We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he’s going to take our country back. That’s what we gotta do.”

And even though Trump did, albeit later than even many Republican leaders felt was acceptable, condemn the KKK as “thugs” and racism as “evil,” the fact remains that the era of Trump is one in which the David Dukes of the nation feel emboldened and energized. A president who pledges to round up millions of hard working Mexican Americans while calling them murderers, rapists, and drug dealers and who tells police it is OK to rough up minority suspects simply cannot speak to the issue of racism with any degree of moral authority. (La Semana)