“Oh my gosh!!” someone cried from the noisy TV news, “He hit everyone!” Now, they had my attention. I glanced up from my nail-biting thriller to see people scattered, and shouting for help, desperate, as a car sped into a gathering of about a dozen people. My eyes were glued to the screen as the words: “White nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA” and subtitles that ran along the bottom of the screen in bolded font, “rally participant runs car into crowd of anti-racism protestors.” I sat in my peaceful living room as my heart raced with fear, shock, and awe at what our country has come to.
That gruesome phone camera footage of a car plowing over people launching bodies, their belongings, and rally signs into the air; made me ponder, the simple yet powerful question of: why? Why had an innocent woman supporting anti-racism lost her life due to the reckless actions of James A. Fields, (driver of the car) a fascist, in a protesting rally? The gathering had two sides: anti-racism and fascist where protestors were armed with paramilitary gear, rods, and guns. Protesting can be a great outlet to spread awareness for a rising cause so that people can make connect the problem to real faces of real people who aren’t stuck behind the shield of a screen and key board. However, this protesting rally on August 12, 2017 took a turn for the worst.
Protesting has become an effective way to cause political change. But creating awareness with a large crowd to draw political leaders’ attention isn’t always the case, studies have shown that protesting raises awareness among the people to make a change and get politically active. Although violent protesting isn’t always the answer to solve an issue, peaceful resistance to a cause can launch a butterfly effect among peers.
All the while, still sitting in that cozy living room with my novel a flower petal closed in shock-I watched, fascinated, as people dropped their signs and desperately rushed to aid the ones injured at the site of the crash. My heart swelled for those who forgot whatever was important thirty seconds ago and helped wherever they possibly could. People chased after the car, others ran to the scene to help injured victims stand, and dialing 911 for those whose lives were in danger. In the moment I was convinced that humanity wasn’t done for. There was still hope, especially for those who urgently rushed to the scene instead of running in fear or guilt. My heart warmed to the ones who made me realize what selflessness really looks like.