Like many of you, I was shocked by the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Armed hoodlums, carrying torches, marched through the city intimidating anyone who would dare stand up to them. They preached messages of hate. Anyone who did not fit into the mob"s ideals of white power, male dominance, xenophobia, homophobia, were targets for this hate. In an act of terror, one woman lost her life when she was run over by one of the white supremacists. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn these images were from 1930's Germany and not the 21st century. The fact that many of the alt right protestors didn't even feel the need to hide their faces shows that hate has become a new normal for many. And that very much scares me.
Much has been said about President Trump's lack of statement on the violence. Even more was said when he finally spoke and blamed villany on both sides of the violence. I think that this was utterly and totally wrong. But others have said much on this.
But one image during the siege in Charlottesville caught my eye. The Neo-Nazis were on one side of the demonstration. The protestors were on the other side. Standing between them keeping the peace was a lone black police officer. He could not wanted to have been there. He would have known that the alt right protestors hated him. They thought of him as less than human, less worthy, a piece of worthless trash. Yet the police office did his job. He realised that the lives of the alt right protestors were still important. He protected them despite their hatred for him. I admire this man's courage to continue to do his job even if that means protecting those who revile you.
The bible teaches two ways to deal with hate. One way tells us an eye for an eye. That seems like a natural human reaction. You hurt me, while I am going to hurt you more. But of course as Tevye says in "Fiddler on the Roof" that leaves the whole world blind. The other way is to turn the other cheek. It is easy to say but so hard to do. But it is the only way to turn the volume down on violence. Wars will continue to be fought until we refrain from getting the other person back. Peace will only come when we learn to turn the other cheek just like that lone officer did in Charlottesville. Blessings.
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