Like many of you, I am numb with tears and pain that I have from the scenes of hatred over recent days. These events started on a Friday evening in Charlottesville, Va. Once again, in the history of our country, violence has played along racial lines. The usual minority groups were shouted down by the gathered neo-Nazis, white-supremacists and other similarly-minded groups. Things grew violent.
Racial violence and hatred are nothing new in our society. Some of you may have thought that we finally defeated the racism in our country’s history when we elected our nation’s first black president in 2008. Others of you, like me, might have been hopeful, but also knew that racism was engrained in and still alive and well in our great United States of America. Some of you, those who live with racial tensions every day of your lives, know far too well how sensitive our nation’s racial tensions really are. You also, now, may know how sensitive the massive volcano is that is ready to erupt at any time. If our racial climate were a volcano, what would a volcanologist say? Is this a precursor? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I was not surprised by the horrible acts over the weekend. What appalled me are some of the comments following these acts. I am so appalled, in fact, that I found myself searching the internet to find some solace from some wise other’s writings. Surely somebody, somewhere, from the religious realm, the political arena or the academic sphere could bring my heart, mind and soul comforting balm through his/her words. I found a few pieces here and there; but, nothing really helped me. I decided, I had to look into my own soul, mind and heart.
What did I have to say to the situation to provide any kind of comfort? Here is what I know:
Violence and hatred in any form are wrong. Period!
There is no place for racial hatred. Period!
We should act as if we were all one; we are stronger together.
There is no such thing as an innocent bystander; we all have a responsibility to work toward a better tomorrow.
Our wounds are very deep; this does not mean we cannot have compassion for someone else’s pain.
Our nation’s history is strong with stories of great successes and devastating truths. Many of those devastating truths have been racially involved and cannot be denied.
We have a great nation that is worth protecting and we cannot allow it to be destroyed.
We all have an opportunity, for ourselves and for our nation, to write a corrective moral compass that all people need to be treated equally.
We must be diligent as well as vigilant.
Love. Love is always the better way.
Be strong my friends. Be safe. Be love.