A Princeton student believes that the radical progressive groups Antifa and Black Lives Matter are merely “organizations that stand for equality” which “bravely faced off” against white supremacists and Neo-Nazis last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sophomore Mason Cox also quotes Princeton’s own Cornel West who alleged that if it wasn’t for Antifa’s presence in Charlottesville, the marching Neo-Nazis “would have been crushed like cockroaches.”
Writing in The Daily Princetonian, Cox alleges President Trump intentionally endorsed the marching white supremacists, and “openly supported fascism.”
“The United States of America has no president,” he writes. “Trump cannot accurately command one of the most diverse countries in the world if he either believes, or gains his support from individuals who believe, that white genocide is happening.”
Therefore, those in positions of power, and institutions like Princeton, should be expected to be functioning parts of the resistance. It’s up to them to carry some of the burden borne by those targeted by Trump and the KKK. They must use their privilege, whether it be the political power they have in D.C., the influence they carry through their endowments, and much more, to help amplify disadvantaged voices. Influential individuals in the administration are actively taking part in and encouraging discrimination, so institutions like Princeton, if we are truly in the service of humanity, should counter the hateful remarks.
White silence is white support for the wrong side. If those in positions of historical privilege who have never been targeted by the U.S. and its policies do not stand up in the face of injustice, then they passively reap the fruits of the white supremacists’ messages. Regardless of how it is looked at, the KKK’s rhetoric explicitly benefits all white people at the expense of all other minorities. So, if one who is white remains silent, then they give the hate groups a non-vocal stamp of approval.
To the entirety of the Princeton community, but specifically my fellow white students and peers: Trump’s policies will hurt some of us, like those of us who are economically disadvantaged, but not nearly as much as other minorities. We are not forced to walk amongst statues that glorify individuals who killed our ancestors. Employers do not look at us with preconceived notions. We are in a position of privilege — regardless of how we look at it — and remaining complicit at times like these only puts us in a position of support. This is not the time to take the central route. This is not the time to remain neutral. This is the time to unite against white supremacy.
In addition, Cox is disgusted that Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber hasn’t signaled his virtue by yet offering a public condemnation of the Charlottesville Nazis. Such “apolitic[s]” are complicit in Trump coments like “fire fury” directed at North Korea — a country which, Cox claims, was merely “trying to avoid the fate” of other nations on which Trump has dropped “unprecedented amounts of bombs.”