Real Americans take those in need to heart

It has been suggested what is happening in Houston now is a welcomed diversion from focus during recent weeks on the very worst people among us.

But perhaps we should think about the extremists responsible for violence across the country, including in Charlottesville, Va., even as we marvel at the deeds of courage, compassion and sacrifice among those aiding the Lone Star State’s flood victims.

Where among the men and women volunteering at disaster shelters are the Ku Klux Klan members?

How many of those using their own boats to rescue those of all races, creeds and geographic backgrounds are clad in the black “Antifa” uniform?

And where is the self-proclaimed courage of the neo-Nazis when there is risk involved in rescuing flood victims?

Sadly, the existence of bigots like white nationalists and KKK members, of course, are not new to America. That was clearly outlined this week in our coverage of Saturday’s historical presentation by the Niles Historical Society of the Klan’s rise and attempts to push into Niles in the early 1920s. More than 100 people attended the presentation hosted as part of the McKinley Birthplace Memorial’s 100th anniversary celebration in Niles.

The Tribune Chronicle this week revisited that time in Trumbull County history when residents here fought back hard against the Klan’s attempt gain increasing political clout and white supremacy.

Niles, at that time, acted as a powder keg and people from all over the region planned to come to the defense of the immigrants or to support the Klan’s effort to intimidate them. The stories relayed at Saturday’s event triggered gasps from the large crowd.

Now, just as Trumbull County residents and Americans as a whole rose up to fight back against bigotry at that time, Americans today are rising up and showing what makes American strong and united.

Today, men, women and juveniles by the thousands — driven not by unbalanced ideology or a desire for confrontation but solely by concern for fellow human beings — are in the spotlight in Houston. They are doing wonderful, often amazing, things.

Many of our own are giving of themselves by heading to Texas to lend a hand where they can. Others are making amazing amounts of donations in an attempt to help those they don’t know and never will meet personally.

Quietly going about their lives most of the time, but rising to the occasion when someone needs help, these people can be described in two words: real Americans.

Meanwhile, those who would divide us are nowhere to be found. That should surprise no one.