Monday, August 14, 2017

One Side Only

Someone once asked the sage Ramakrishna, “Why is there evil in the universe?”

His answer: “To thicken the plot.”

Well, that’s interesting on a metaphysical level, but as for me, I’m ready for a thinner plot.
The Charlottesville terrorist attacks by our own citizens is enough to make me consider closing the book and moving to—well, maybe Canada, where I am right now, and I can speak freely about this without worrying if someone is offended because they think 45 is doing just great. With a good friend and an Orff colleague living in Charlottesville, a charming town I once visited, the evil is feeling just a little too close to home. Of course, even without friends there, I would feel I have friends there who need my support and thoughts. But that’s far from enough.

I got an e-mail from my old Alma Mater, Antioch College and a report from three students who went there to offer support on the spot. They reported:
“We were only 50 feet away from the spot where the car mowed into a crowd of protestors this Saturday in Charlottesville, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer. We attempted to chase the car as it backed up the alley and drove away. There was a group of police who just watched the car drive away. We went to them and said: ‘What are you going to do about that?’ At first they shrugged but one eventually got into a trooper car and drove after it.”
Okay, let’s hold right there. Imagine a large group of African-American men with assault weapons gathering and chanting racial slurs about white people, then a few in a car mowing down a crowd of white protestors. Do you think the police would shrug their shoulders? Hmm, don’t think so. They’d come in with guns blazing and no questions asked.
And that right there is the whole thing in a nutshell. The President, condemning “both sides” (must have been Heather’s fault that she had the audacity to get in the way of that car), the police letting things slide, the privilege white supremacists feel knowing that folks in power mostly have their back. What the hell kind of country is this?
Basically the same one it was during slavery and post-slavery lynching and here we are, still fighting the Civil War. But, Mr. 45, it is NOT the fault of “both” sides. It’s not another media tragedy to get by with a few prayers and fake tears. It’s the bleeding wound of our sickness that has never been healed and never will be healed until we look ourselves in the eye and say, “This is what we have done. It was wrong. It was evil. And now it must stop.”

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