An open letter on Extremism. 

Violence is not a solution. Angry tweets into the ether are not a solution. Blaming, shaming and finger-pointing are not a solution. 
There is no “alt” to the right or the left- there are extremes and it is time we started referring to them as such. Alt is a fluffy, tweet-friendly word which disguises the fact that the people we’re referring to are extremists. 
The alt right are not the Alt-ernative to anything. They are not some new breed of right winger; their mindset has been around for centuries from Slavers to Nazis and the scientists of the 1950s who believed that lgbtq people could be “cured”. By taking their actions as a new response we are ignoring the lessons we have already learned from history. We are ignoring the way we dealt with this in the past and the loss of lives that resulted in ignoring their progression for so long before we took action. 
The extreme left is not our hope. The solution is not going to be found by turning up at rallies armed to the teeth and looking for a fight. Take your rage, your well-earned anger and put it to constructive use! Use your minds to start dialogues and not your hands to start fights. There is nothing to be gained by punching a random Confederate flag-waver upside the head. All you do is give them further “proof” you are unreasonable and un-welcoming of discussion. Mr Trump has shown us time and again that he is looking for any excuse to paint this as a two-sided situation. Loathe to criticise those who put him in power, he will take any opportunity to single out the extreme Left and say
 “Look look, they did a bad thing too!” 
We have the ability to stop that. We have the ability to show the world that there is no comparison to be made between our protests and the car-as-weapon standards of the Far Right. 
Positive change comes neither quickly nor easily. The results we are wanting to see take time and the situation could get worse before it gets better. 
But it will get better if we stand together and show that we are not going to allow divisive, reductive ideologies to reshape our world. We need to be brave and to hold fast to the knowledge that we are on the right track. Read the proposals and policies before you agree to them, challenge laws and statutes if you feel abuses are happening, use your MPs/ Senators and be informed. When nothing else will do then get out there and March…but do it peacefully. Be the ‘bigger man’ and eventually Trump and his extreme right wing followers will have no excuses and no one else to blame. 

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