On May 20th, 2017 Richard W. Collins III was stabbed to death on the University of Maryland Campus by a white nationalist who will not face federal hate crime charges. Collins had just received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and was poised to graduate from Bowie State University the following day and begin the rest of his life, when Sean Urbanski allegedly stabbed him to death for failing to vacate the side walk. The incident was caught on camera and there were multiple witnesses.
Though Urbanski’s Facebook page linked him to a white nationalist group, that has since been taken down, the Department of Justice reviewed the case and decided not to charge the alleged murder, with a federal hate crime. The Trump Administration is exploiting racial divisions, and fueling racial animus by refusing to prosecute criminals to the full extent of the law, or call people out who exploit any vestige of legitimacy to further their twisted cause. Military bases named after men who betrayed their oath to America to preserve the immoral institution of slavery is but one example of the remaining work America has to do to align its values with its practices. Honoring traitors in such a demonstrable fashion gives hubris to those who wish to preserve that twisted cause. To help remedy this misalignment, I am asking all to sign the petition to the United States Army to urge them to rename the 10 bases that currently bear the names of Confederate leaders, http://chng.it/jYCdTZtvDS.
We are currently living in an era where white supremacists have been embolden. FBI statistics since 2017 show hate crimes are up by a conservative 17%. As a nation, we must be united and unequivocal in our rebuke of all symbols of hate. There can be no gray area, or “good people on both sides”, regarding hate and intolerance. The present day gains of an integrated society, and the right for all Americans to vote, and serve in an integrated armed forces was won by both black and white Americans, who pushed for change and demanded better. Have we stopped pushing? Have we stopped demanding better of our elected officials? Have we stopped protesting through civil activism? Please join Citizens Against the Spread of Hatred and sign the petition! #renamethebases #goodpeopleonbothsides
Troy Mosley, author of Unwritten Truce: the Armed Forces and American Social Justice