“I’ve been an activist 50 years. I have never seen that kind of hatred in the eyes of my fellow citizens. Never.” – Dr Cornel West
I am deeply, deeply disturbed by what happened this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. DEEPLY disturbed. And I can not be silent. No it’s not the first incident and no it won’t be the last. Yes, Nazis are still with us, and yes, hate has always been with us.
Somehow, this is just a line for me personally. I can not keep quiet. Why? Because the photo above scares the living HELL out of me. I agree with Cornel West. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. That is the face of hate. That is the face of men who have every thing possible in this country except one thing. Gratitude.
And I can not be silent because they can not win.
We wonder what to do. We can show up. We can meet hate with love and we can say “NO YOU WILL NOT”, and we can hold people accountable. People like Judge Glen Conrad, Jason Kessler (who by the way, geez dude take a DNA test FFS) and the lack of police at the U. of VA campus. And the parents of James Fields, the driver of the car that killed Heather Heyer. His mother said “I just try to stay out of his politics”. He was 20 years old. He was “infatuated” with Nazis and had “radical ideas about race” as a freshman in high school.
Infatuated is the wrong word, by the way. Infatuation is saved for girls, or puppies or video games. This was radicalization. He rammed his “prized” Dodge Charger, which cost upward of $28,000 (WHERE THE HELL DID HE AFFORD THAT? or did his parents give it to him?) into human beings. But his mother just stayed out of it. Really damn awkward to be in the media spot light now, isn’t it Ms. Bloom? And his teacher made the suggestion he was on anti-psychotic meds-because in America, white men are always “mentally ill”. Black men are violent.
There are so many things, small things, that disturb me about Charlottesville. The fact that Cornel West, a man with 50 years of hard-core activism said he’s never seen such hate. The lack of police (college and city) presence Friday night. The rental truck, tiki-torches, polo shirts, and the fact that these young men were mostly from out of state. They flew in planes (which should make every one of them an international terrorist) to get there-There is MONEY behind this. BIG MONEY. They surrounded the church. They surrounded the students. They used a $28,000 car as a murder weapon. And the mothers just try to stay out of it.
Holy HELL people, what do we do with this? Half of the damn country is insane and sociopathic!
This terrifies me. But it will not silence me.
The Truth against the World. That’s my maxim.
As a Druid, I am to be a peace maker. As a human being, I’m great at being a nasty bitch. It’s what I learned being raised in a dysfunctional household. So maybe I have an idea about why they’re angry.
But anger and hate get us nowhere. I know that with my very blood and life. It’s a hard-learned lesson for me, but being in gratitude, always seeking Love and Light are the only way to walk forward, the only way to repair, the only way to heal.
Truth against the World. Is there Peace?
Heart to Heart. Is there Peace?
Shout above resounding shout. Is there Peace?
Do I believe that 100% of the time? No. Sometimes I cower and hope to die before the shit hits the fan, leaving the cleanup to the next generation and the next, horrified by what I can imagine the world will be. And sometimes I agree with the more radical of Pagans, it all needs to burn before being reborn.
But I always come back to what I have learned in AA. I have to. I have to come back to these things or my Spirit would perish each time these things happen. I have to.
-There is something out there that is greater than I am.
-Gratitude changes everything.
-Meeting hate with Love is the highest form that I can manifest on this Earth.
Does Love mean allowing hate? No. Does Love mean allowing violence? No. Sometimes Love means setting very clear boundaries and saying NO loudly when they are breached.
And somehow, I feel like the lead in this is on Women. It’s up to us. It’s up to us to school these pasty, angry white men in exactly what is and is NOT OK. It is NOT OK to objectify women (which goes hand in hand with white Supremacy), to be abusive because they were abused, to kill for a cause, or to hate with such passion.
But like I’ve learned with other groups, you get no where by being angry back.
Anger met with kindness and sympathy is knocked off of it’s feet. Anger met with a collective consciousness of Love can not stand. We who are not angry or sociopathic, we who have found Connection, have healed our own wounds and feel ready to tend to others, collectively can and MUST channel something much greater than the sum of our individual parts and heal this. It’s on us.
We heal it not by locking people up, or throwing them away, but by calling them out on their wrongs and then being there to ensure they don’t slip. We heal the cancer not by heaping more toxic behavior on the tumor but by nourishing the collective body, healing, changing the way we interact-the way we interact with other humans, the way we carry ourselves, and yes, sometimes we heal by cutting out cancer when it can not be healed.
We have to be there for each other. Heart to Heart. We have a duty to tell people, no this is wrong. We have a duty to call out, and ask for the resignation of Judge Glen Conrad, who knew that this would be a violent protest and OK’ed it at the eleventh hour.
We have a duty to see that since Jason Kessler was so worried about his “free speech” at this rally, as it’s organizer and the one who filed a lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville, that he be held accountable for the deaths of three people and serious injury of dozens of others.
We have a duty to call out the President and ensure he actually speaks the words to let these haters know, this is NOT OK.
We have a duty to remember Heather Heyer and people like Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best who were murdered in Portland.
We have a duty to call for change in the way police treat Blacks, Native Americans and people of Color in this country, and a duty to ADMIT that they are not treated the same ways that angry hateful white men are treated.
We have a duty to educate ourselves. (ADL & SPLC) Hate is never going to disappear, and we cannot fight hate in the dark.
Parents have a duty to not “butt out” when their sons are 20, or 15. They have a duty to educate themselves and their sons, and daughters.
A duty to whom you might ask? Ourselves, our collective culture, and our children. Our future.
It’s heartening to hear so many politicians (except the President) call out these haters.
Vice President Pence said “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.” And for calling this what it really is-terrorism. But this is not enough. We need to call on our government leaders to track home-grown terrorists like these, and to stop them. Because this was never about free speech or the violation there of. This was about hate, doing harm, and terrorizing Americans.
We also need to be sure we take time to rejuvenate, ground, rest, find our own spiritual guidance, nurturing, and call on our ancestors-those who have seen this kind of hate, to help us. And we need to lift each other up. Be kind to each other. We can not be the light with out time to regenerate, as the Earth demonstrates for us every winter.
And we can look to those leaders who we trust to guide us in how we move forward.
Starhawk today said:
“…we can learn from history. What can stop the fascists is a strong, inspirational movement for social justice—a movement that calls forth the deep longing in people’s hearts to be part of building something that can transform oppression into liberation, a movement that welcomes everyone of good heart and knows that whatever our color, gender, background, talents or calling, we each have a unique and irreplaceable part to play in building that better world. So let our response to the deaths, the injuries, the terrorism be commitment to build that movement and create that world.
Solidarity is the best revenge.”
Marianne Williamson gave a fiery speech at Charlottesville Unity Church Sunday morning. Her words are strong but cautious, angry but motivating. I recommend it if you need inspiration.
As Heather Heyer’s mother said, let her death (and our lives) “be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion.”
That’s what a Druid would do.
We must move forward. We must change this. It’s on us.