Heather Heyer’s question to us all — “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” was heard around the world. Not because she was on television being interviewed but because she was on television having been killed by a white supremacist.
Yes, Heather, I’m angry. I’ve been angry and, like you, I’ve been baffled by those who aren’t. But this post is not to preach, or shove my opinion down people’s throats. I know we are all being bombarded with that and it doesn’t seem to be helping the situation. Only causing more fighting.
But I write because it’s the only way I know how to do something with this anger.
I knew my heart was broken the day I watched President Obama leave the White House. I knew I was watching a changing of the guards that was beyond confusing to me. How we went from a man who spoke and walked and worked with grace, dignity, respect, kindness, wisdom and courage to a man who bullies, shames, disrespects, lies, and boasts on a level that is so unpresidential that it is behavior parents teach their children not to do is still a puzzle I have not been able to figure out.
This isn’t about being a democrat or a republican. I respect both parties. This is about a person. Imagine if you caught your child tweeting about a person the way Mr. Trump tweets about people. Imagine. Imagine if your child spoke to people — rude, interrupting, mocking, judging their looks and weight – the way Mr. Trump does. Imagine.
Some kids are kicked out of school for such behavior. Grounded. Forced to write a letter of apology. We teach our children to treat people with kindness and respect. Don’t we?
But now we have a man sitting in the highest office who clearly was never taught this. A man who has ignited such division that people are no longer friends, people are no longer respectful, people are even dying.
The ugly has come to light again. The darkest part of the human soul has surfaced because it’s now okay. It’s now safe to come out. It’s now acceptable to hate. After we worked so hard and fought so long to dim it.
I’m not a political person. I mean I read, and listen and vote but honestly I don’t like politics. But what I am is a person who cares about people. I care about equality. I care about kindness and love and respect. I care about the people over our history who died for these issues, fought wars, protested and educated us to make our world and us humans better. Stronger. Kinder. Wiser. So much so that we had an African American President for two terms! What a glorious event in history! What a moment we should all be proud of — whether you voted for him or not — be proud! That’s how far we had come.
How far have we come? I don’t know anymore.
But I do know I still believe in the human spirit. I do believe there is more love in this world than hate. I do believe more of us are holding hands than not. And my daughter believes this too. And when she is older and has children she will teach her children to believe this. And so it goes… Hands holding hands holding hands holding hands.
We can teach love just as easily as we can teach hate. But if we can un-teach love, which clearly we can… then, yes, I believe, with all my heart, that we CAN un-teach hate.