Posted by: minnow | August 15, 2017

No Time for Rose-Colored Glasses

I do not wear rose colored glasses.  I do not tell myself out of ignorance or fear that everything will be alright. I am a realist. At least I thought I was a realist before 45 became our president.  The first 200 days of 45’s presidency have emotionally and mentally overwhelmed me.  I have been depressed and angry and afraid and shocked and confused and rendered helpless, stuck, and agitated ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  Day after day after day a new outrage clamors for our attention, insisting it is more urgent than the problem from the day before. For eight months, saner minds have attempted to sort through the chaos and triage the situation. Yet only one thing is clear–America is in crisis. Immigrants face increased peril. Old people face increased peril. Women face increased peril. People of color face increased peril. Those who identify as LGBTQ face increased peril. The poor face increased peril. Non-Christians and the “wrong kind of Christians” face increased peril. This nation, as a whole, faces increased peril because our democracy and our Constitution are under attack.  We are in danger of being destroyed from within and no one seems to know what to do.  Not since the Civil War have we come so close to self destruction. And even so, the walking out of this evil rampage against our principles, against our institutions, against the very moral fiber of this country, is just getting started.

If you need proof of the evil we face, just look at the events which took place this past week in Charlottesville, Virginia.  If you doubt this truth ask yourself why it took the president two days to condemn by name the KKK, white supremacists, and Neo-Nazis who brought hate and violence to American streets and why few on either the left or the right have expressed surprise or dismay that it took him less than 24 hours to begin to walk his statement backwards.  If you have any questions about the increased threat we as a nation face since this administration and his apologists in Congress lay siege to our democracy ask those who resisted the spread of hate over the weekend in Charlottesville.  Ask the members of Black Lives Matter who were spat on and beaten.  Ask the clergy who attended to the wounded and called false on the anti-semitic and racist slurs chanted by far right “Christian” hate groups. Ask the friends and family of Heather Heyer who was murdered and the 19 others who were intentionally run down while peacefully protesting the presence of the self-righteous white evil in their midst.

In my own state, the debate over the removal of a fountain commemorating the Confederacy and commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy  has brought the issue of racism close to home. Richard Spencer and his mouth piece, The Daily Stormer, already terrorized the peaceful community of Whitefish, Montana last winter. Must we prepare for another onslaught? Will we once again be a target for the Alt-Right?  According to this article, The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Montana as the #1 state with the highest concentration of hate groups in America.  Granted we have wide open spaces and a low population so an argument could be made that the numbers do not represent native Montanans.  Still, Montana is my home and this statistic is alarming.  I want this statistic to be more than skewed; I want it to be non-existent. But, the only way that will happen is if the good people of Montana stand up, speak out, and rid our state of Hate.

In the wake of Charlottesville, many on the left question the wisdom of the direct confrontation of the extremists on the Right.  Instead, they ask, shouldn’t we just ignore them, let them fizzle out, and hold peaceful protests at a later time?  Isn’t non-violent passive resistance a better strategy? While MLK fought racism in the 60’s using such a philosophy, his success was due in part to the fact that those who held office at the federal level were people of high moral character, at least that is the face they needed to show the public.  In this hour, the moral character of our elected officials in Washington is in question.

If truth, equality, and justice are to win the day we must weed out those politicians who have thus far neglected to stand up for every American. We must elect leaders and representatives who are willing to serve their constituents regardless of the party with which they affiliate, the color of their skin, the faith they profess, the gender with which they identify, or the economic status they have achieved. We must be willing to expose deception, advocate for fairness, and defend freedom. And in the end, if we are going to sustain the peace we ultimately desire, we must win the day but we must not become vindictive victors. One of the casualties of this war for the soul of our nation cannot be our moral character or we will have won the war for our enemies.

I will not borrow troubles from an unseen future, but neither will I don a pair of rose colored glasses.  The time to wake up is now. The time to resist is now. The time to take a stand is now. We cannot be ignorant of the specter of hate hanging over our country.  Claims of ignorance no longer hold water.  Racism is not morally ambiguous.  We have no immoral equivalence on the left for the vile rhetoric spewed from the mouths of the Alt-Right–the Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK. Bigotry ought not be greeted with indifference.  And, hatred should never be shielded by tolerance. 45 may not overtly acknowledge the putrid stench radiating from his base but it permeates through out their ranks and they hail him their hero. Like a rabid animal, racism, bigotry, and hatred must be put down.  This disease must be eradicated before it infects the entire population.

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Responses

  1. Extremely well written and reflective of my own thoughts and feelings


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