The white supremacists and the neo-Nazis which gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 were there to spread hate. The people who gathered to protest their rally were there to let them know there is no place in America for this kind of hate. Both groups stood ready to fight for their beliefs.
Two forces, believing in the First Amendment, our right to speak, then took it to a different level. With blood. Force. Violence. Murder.
What the world witnessed was the tip of the iceberg. All you had to do was look at the faces of both groups.
Instead of people coming together in this large melting pot of people from all races, religions, cultures, we call America, we have never been more polarized. Emotions have never been so raw after surfacing from years of repression, and it has turned ugly.
Why do people hate? Scientists, psychologists, theologians – no one knows for sure. However, they have shown people are not born racist; it is a learned emotion, slowly and carefully taught by people who are supposed to nurture them and keep them safe – parents and family members.
The seeds of racism begin when family members teach their children the color of their skin, religion, and culture is better than other people’s. They are told to spread the word by using force in many cases. They are told they are superior and entitled. They are above the law.
What can one individual do against this growing tidal wave of aggression, hate, and heinous actions?
Mother Teresa said, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
The more we resist their words, the more they persist in speaking them louder.
Instead, as Mother Teresa and many other people of peace have said, we each can stand and loudly speak, write, and profess the way to conquer this is by words and actions of love. It may sound trite to many, but being a role model of love, tolerance, and understanding of another’s opinion we can achieve world peace. A world of inclusion. A world of tolerance.