Observations by Bill Dalby:
I believe that to understand the events of Jan 6th, 2021, you have to recognize the role white supremacy has played in the history of the United States. This country was literally built on slavery. To justify the horrific enslavement of an entire race of people, our forebears invented the simple proposition that blacks were inferior, only barely human, which justified treating them like animals. This has been the big lie in America for 400 years. It was similarly expanded to justify the mass genocide of indigenous people, and the oppression and inhumane treatment of Latinos and others.
As white Americans, we are so steeped in this monstrous lie it’s difficult for many of us to recognize the deep, pervasive systemic racism that
permeates every American institution as a result of it, or indeed even our own knee-jerk racist responses. Now comes an angry mob of
insurrectionists to the Capitol, the seat of our first branch of government, encouraged by a man who is expert on engendering hate and fear in his
followers, a man who has embraced the ideals of white supremacy to the core. He exploits the deepest fear of his followers: that people of color will
“take away” their country.
It’s no coincidence that he and his allies sought to discount the votes from states with a high proportion of people of color. We’re now engaged in a
literal war for the soul of our nation. You must declare for one side or the other. No reconciliation or “unity” is possible until we address the issue of
rampant white supremacy in America.
Signing petitions and making Facebook posts won’t do it. Each one of us must look around at our sphere of influence and identify concrete actions we
can take. When I look around at Toledo, my hometown, I see many visible symbols of a group that has welcomed white supremacists and members
of paramilitary organizations to its ranks. Whatever other good works Timber Unity may have done is far outweighed by their continued tolerance
for white supremacists. They recently released a statement that said this, in part:
“We realize people in TU belong to other groups whose purpose is different than ours. We hope people who choose to attend the events of other
organizations are mindful of personal safety and the safety of others, follow the laws, and are respectful of law enforcement.”
This falls far short of what they should be saying, which is that they will no longer tolerate white supremacists, white nationalists, and domestic terrorists as members of their group, or at their rallies. I will continue to work to rid my town of the symbols of this duplicitous organization.