I have loved this beautiful town of Charlottesville since 1982 despite its flaws. It's hard to know how it happened that so many hate-filled people came to our town for a well-funded, carefully planned event. I assume they were drawn here by the lure of a fight; did they come here hoping to kill, "own" the town, an angry urge to destroy something, anything? How is it that racism is such a draw? And what is it with the Nazis? They seem like very dangerous children, dressed up to be in a movie. Trump has empowered them from the beginning of his campaign and by his reaction to the events of the day, but I am looking for a deeper reason. Perhaps that's enough.
How did this local man, Jason Kessler, make this happen? If he plans to continue to disrupt our town, we need to find a different way to deal with it. First the political infrastructure (police, city government, court system) needs to reassure us that they do mean to protect us. I have real questions about whether that is the case.
And we must respond more like Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Anger and hate, even when it is so well-deserved, is not our friend. The Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Only by standing against hate with love can we prevail. Hoping to figure out how to do that.
Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
I am so sorry that this has happened, but I am confident that this sorry episode in American politics will be over soon. People are, basically, good at heart, and those who are not are in the minority. Over the whole sweep of human history – even including the 20th century – the path of human progress has always been away from violence not towards it. This will pass, I know it will…
Most days I do believe that people are good at heart and that over time, violence has diminished. Some days it’s harder to keep that in mind. Thank you for your warm comments.
Hope the whirlwind around here ends.