August 16, 2017

Charlottesville’s Hate Rally & Deaths Impacts San Antonio’s Mayor


The recent tragic events that unfollowed during the Charlottesville rally has brought another new light to the world we live in.  Heather Heyer, a white woman, was the victim of Charlottesville car attack that is now changing the world. 


Heyer, 32, a civil rights activist and legal assistant from Virginia, was one of 20 people struck by vehicle driven into a crowd of counter-protesters where she was killed for silently standing up against the confederates.  


The Virginia Guardian reported that Heyer, whose Facebook cover photo read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”, worked for the Virginia law firm Miller Law and regularly drew attention to cases of police malpractice and racism, as well as posting her support for Bernie Sanders in his presidential campaign.


As the world waited for US President Donald Trump to address the nation and to denounce white supremacy, leaders around the world spoke up and out to include San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. 


The Mayor says, “The violence in Charlottesville came from bigoted hate groups that subscribe to white supremacist ideologies that have no place in civil societies. The event that unfolded in Virginia last weekend clearly shows that racist ideologies are not only alive and present; they are openly condoned in some corners of our society. We will continue to work actively against such hatred and weed it out wherever it is present. We are currently working through a process regarding the location of the Confederate statue in Travis Park. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that symbols of the Confederacy are placed in a proper context.”


The infamous leader of the Klu Klux Klan and former Presidential candidate, David Duke spoke on a MSNBC segment and explained how he wants to take back America.  What? Isn’t America the land of the free and the home of the brave?  This also sounds close to President Trump’s rally to “Make America Great Again” where he talked passionately about restoring the America of old.  When David Duke talks about “THE HOME OF THE BRAVE” It all sounds good and politically correct but it's not true.  The only thing that he states is true is that we are BRAVE.  Brave enough to die for others who aren't our color, Brave enough to stand up peacefully for the overlooked wrongs by leaders of the 'free country' that only lead our activists to- well.. sometimes death.  In Heather's case this was her story for the 'free country' she was told she lived in but she knew otherwise and that's why she was at the rally supporting everyone BUT the White Supremacists. 


A good friend of mine said that in order for America to improve in this conversation about diversity and inclusion, White people can only check White people, Black people can check Black people, etc.  The accountability of Black Lives Matter changes when White people freely die and confront each other to the moral character issues that victimize minority people.   Heather is now the face for challenging the race issue.  Maybe her death will move the conversation more than any other person who has died a senseless death???


The Observer staff says, “God Bless your soul Heather, your life will never be forgotten and we pay the utmost respect for your stance and the legacy and doors it will open in the future.” 


So now what?  San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg released a statement Monday, as he joined leaders from across the country in condemning the attack on peaceful demonstrators who stood against white supremacy and bigotry in Charlottesville, VA that left one dead.


The Mayor gave us something our President didn't even have to give us, and that was to call it like it was- White Supremacy.  Good job!   All of the hate calls being made to our news room and to elected leaders are being documented as we have a long way to go and we are not scared of any white supremacist even when you hide behind blocked caller ID.


As the confederacy marks in our nation are being taken down and/or replaced that brings us to a question for our San Antonio Mayor since he stated he will  “work with my colleagues to ensure that symbols of the Confederacy are placed in a proper context.”


We understand the issues of the statues that represent the Confederacy.   But the bigger issue is how does the Mayor redirect the conversation with public school now referenced on CNN named Robert E. Lee High School (NEISD).  North East ISD Board of Trustees denied the renaming of the school in 2015 and told parents, educators, students and protesters that “you need to learn from Robert E. Lee and his great accomplishments.”   Brian Gottardy, Superintendent fought with the Lee Alumni to deny Kayla Wilson the opportunity to change the Confederate leaders influence in San Antonio.   Former Mayor Julian Castro rallied from DC to say change the name.   So the question is what will the current Mayor do?


As Don Lemmon explained on CNN Monday Evening, how do you expect students to feel safe and in an environment to thrive when the name of their school doesn't even make them feel safe?  You nailed it Don.  It is very disturbing that when you Google 'Robert E Lee High School San Antonio' and then press images to see the Google images here is a screen shot of what images are associated with our very own San Antonio High School-



As much as we focus on our children, I would hope that this is on the Mayor's TOP priority list to address next as it is the same if not worse than a statue.  With these two schools, we are allowing racist and hateful white Board of Trustees at NEISD to create a breeding ground of hatred in our children.   Why does any child deserve to be in an environment named after white supremacy? 


As Mayor Nirenberg has stated above that he is working with his colleagues to ensure that symbols of the Confederacy are placed in a proper context.  So far the mayor has been a man of his word.   But we must ask him to take on the big elephant which are our schools, and help our children as they are America’s next generation.  We must give our children a place of safety right now.   This fight must include all people who have a moral compass.   We have to stop waiting for others to force the conversation and die for causes that benefit our community.   What happened to Kayla wasn’t right, and we can’t allow the mistakes of the past to repeat.    This is why the Jewish community stood up as Nazi Germany will never happen to them again.  


Lest We Forget!


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