by Mellanie Ramsey
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. It is hard not to forget considering every year since then, we are reminded of it with all the documentaries and news specials that air on almost every television station.
What most people don't remember, however, was what happened on September 12th and 13th 2001. Those were the days that stand-out in my mind in light of recent events in our nation.
I was living in Los Angeles at the time and when the World Trade Centers were hit, I was stunned. I was watching the news live when the South tower was struck. When the news reported the Pentagon was also hit. Never in my life did I think I would live to see a terrorist strike on US soil. At that point in time, most of us Americans thought our country was untouchable.
To us, Pearl Harbor was an unfortunate thing of the past and it would never happen again. But it did. And it changed everything.
Normally, Los Angeles is always busy and bustling, no matter the time of day or night. It is often joked that to get anywhere in L.A. takes 45 minutes.
The freeways are always crowded and there is always traffic and smog. I was so used to the noise of Los Angeles considering I grew up in Southern California, that I often found it difficult to sleep whenever I visited family in North Carolina. But for the first time in my life, on that day, everything seemed to stop. I did not go into work and it seemed the rest of Southern California stayed home as well. The fear of what just happened painted our skies a shade of gray that even the normal orange haze of smog couldn't cover. As Californians, as Americans, we were all stunned.
On September 12th, we were all still recovering. However, I started to notice something different about my neighborhood. The freeways were still eerily absent of the normal gridlock. But the few cars I did see had American car flags in the windows. “Old Glory” was still waving in the wind. I saw giant US Flags draped on overpasses, displayed in almost every home and apartment window. Fire Station 60 in North Hollywood had a huge American flag hanging from one of their trucks. The few businesses that were open all had flags in their storefront windows with words of love and encouragement for the people in New York, Firefighters, Police, and other First Responders.
To this day, it was the most awesome display of American Patriotism I have ever seen. At that point in time, we were all proud Americans.
Fast-forward 16 years, and I am once again shocked and stunned.
Never in my life did I ever think that I would see a day in American history where the word “Patriot” is being used as synonymous with the word “racist“. Following the clash in Charlottesville, many media outlets and even liberal groups have been referring to groups such as the Three Percenters (3%ers), Oath Keepers, and Three Percent United Patriots (3UP) as being racist militia hate groups, despite the fact that the organizations all made public statements denouncing the white supremacist and neo-nazis. Some of these groups even outright refused to even participate in the rally days beforehand. Despite these public statements before, during, and after the rally, members of the media and other more liberal organizations continued to paint a picture that these Patriot groups were sympathetic to neo-nazi ideology.
That is egregiously untrue.
The majority of the Patriot Groups in America are just that: Patriots. They love their country fiercely and all feel passionate about defending the country and the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They are proud to fly the American Flag, much like everyone else did in America on September 12th and 13th. Most of them have a lot of members that are Veterans. If these groups had existed in force on September 12th or 13th, I highly doubt anyone would equate them to being racists. They would simply be referred to as proud Americans. So why is it now wrong to refer to oneself as a Patriot or be involved in a Patriot group?
Although one cannot deny that there are members of each Patriot organization [or any organization for that matter] that may hold racist views, the organizations as a whole neither promote nor condone racism by any means. In fact, most of the Patriot groups I've had the opportunity to talk with have not only been kind and courteous to me, but have been very vocal in their opposition to white supremacy and neo-nazi ideology. They all told me that they have no tolerance for racism. And this was all told to me in conversations that occurred PRIOR to Charlottesville. Nonetheless, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that there are a few people in every Patriot group that have racist views in contrast to their Organization's stand. However, the same could be said for liberal groups as well, such as Black Lives Matter, as there have been numerous posts on social media by members of BLM that espouse hatred for white people. Does that mean that everyone in their organization is a racist? No. So why do people continually spread the notion that Patriot groups are racist groups? Since when has it been wrong to be a Patriot? It seems as if the minute one identifies him or herself as a Patriot and they happen to be white, then automatically they are racist. If that is the case, has anyone notified the members of our military? I ask because the last time I checked, they all volunteered for service to their country and also swore an oath to protect our country and our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They also refer to themselves as Patriots. So are they all wrong as well? Why is it okay for groups like Antifa, who openly spew sentiments of hate and conduct acts of violence, are seen and heard as a champion voice for a revolution for change and yet groups that want to preserve the nation are the focus of discontent? Since when has anarchy surpassed democracy?
We are constantly teaching our children not to stereotype people. We shouldn't make assumptions about people. For example, not all Muslims in America are extreme radical Islamic terrorists and not all Hispanic people in America are illegal immigrants. In the same light, not all Patriots are racists either. Not all white males who love their guns are racists. Not all Patriots are white males…
In all fairness, I should disclose the fact that I am a member of The Three Percenters. However, I shouldn't be dismissed as being blind to the struggles of minorities nor should I be accused of being biased against liberals, democrats, minorities, and urban America. You see, I am also a minority female. I grew up in Los Angeles. I have been a victim on multiple occasions of racism. I have children who are also minorities. I am neither Democrat nor Republican, but I have family members of both parties and I love them all. My mother was an immigrant to this country who spoke in a very thick accent. I grew up very poor and on welfare and I went to an extremely liberal college. I am also not brainwashed. I am very independent and opinionated and I have never had a problem speaking my mind. I am, however, a Patriot. I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and a gun enthusiast. I have many conservative views but I have absolutely no tolerance for racism or bigotry. I will never apologize for being an American nor will I ever be ashamed of the fact that I am a Veteran of the United States Army. I served my country as a combat medic and it was a privilege and honor to serve in Iraq. I will also not apologize that I am also part white.
When I joined the Three Percenters I was never asked to disclose my race or ethnic identity, as it didn’t matter. The fact that I am a minority female has never been a problem and I have had nothing but love and support from my fellow 3%ers. I may not always agree with everything my fellow 3%ers think, but they respect my opinion and I respect theirs. Likewise, I have never had a problem with the Oath Keepers, 3UPers, or any other Patriot group members I have encountered. Most of them never even knew I was a 3%er. They just knew I was a proud American. Isn't that how it should be? I have never been told I should hate or protest any particular group because of that group's race or religion. I have never been asked to participate or do anything that was immoral or unethical. It has always been about love for our country and love for our Constitution. It has always been about preserving our Nation and taking a stand for what is right. If it is in the Constitution, then so be it. If it isn't in the Constitution, then so be it. It really is that simple.
So maybe, just maybe, instead of labeling Patriot groups as being racist and supporters of Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist ideology, people need to start sitting down with these groups and have dialogue with them.
Get to know who they are and what they stand for. I can't speak for all Patriot groups, but I can tell you from personal experience that the ones mentioned in this blog are not racists and they are the main Patriot groups that are erroneously being painted as racist hate groups. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure the picture you are looking at isn't one taken from a skewed, biased point of view. That way the thousand words you choose to use are ones that are actually appropriate. When you choose to use the words “Patriot” and “Racist” in the same sentence to infer they are one in the same, not only are you doing yourself a disservice, but you are doing our Country a disservice as well.