I am not certain about anyone else, but I have been on the edge of my seat with the upcoming presidential election. While politicians in the United States campaign fiercely, several events have allowed them to really show what they have to offer. And I have to say, in the wake of Charleston’s horrific shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church which killed nine people, one politician who has caught my eye in a good way is Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On Thursday, the Democratic presidential candidate announced at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials that the United States has to “face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division.” She goes so far as to mention what is motivating the hate and violence of other people, something that others have not.
Of course, with the shootings in Charleston hanging over her head, Clinton had a lot to work with, but I think she is right. And I do not think a lot of Americans want to hear it to be totally honest. Not only did the shootings inspire fear in many in Charleston, but the suspect in the shooting, Dylann Storm Roof, 21, was apparently a “disaffected white supremacist” who was a huge fan of white-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.
However, it is obvious, and Clinton is aware of this, that people like Roof still exist in America today. There is also a lot to be said for friends of Roof that were interviewed who never took his racist jokes seriously. Although he may have been disturbed, he obviously knew enough about white supremacy and supported it enough to feel like he should kill innocent churchgoers in Charleston.
With the election on its way, I feel as if Clinton may not necessarily have a roadmap of how to fix racism and violence in the United States, but I think she is definitely one of the few politicians who is well aware of the seriousness of what is going on in the United States, and hopefully she can come up with some ideas on how to reduce violence.
The United States is a country that was built upon the backs of slavery and even to an extent, otherness in the rest of the world. Its complex history is incredibly fascinating, but it also can demonstrate why there are so many issues. Will gun control be a good first step? I think so, but I also am aware that there will be a large number of Americans who will not be happy with that at all. This could make the presidential election not only very interesting, but also very tense. Because I am not alone in knowing that the United States is very much a powder keg, just waiting to ignite if nothing is done on time to help heal what are in fact, the wounds of history.