Like most of you, I'm stunned. I'm watching (as little as possible) and reading (as much as I can handle). I am in a state of disbelief about the state of our union. I can't even find the words. My heart is paralyzed. I feel the need to stand up and resist. But I also fear backlash or a cry of "white privilege" if my words aren't correct. Aren't enough. Or are somehow too much for the platform of privilege from which I stand.
Damned if I do or damned if I don't, never stopped me before. I think it is important to note that we don't suddenly have lots of new enemies. We don't suddenly have Nazis masquerading as allies in our midst. Our bonds of trust with friends and neighbors need not fester from the wounds of insecurity. Our trusted relationships must not suddenly tear at us like shrapnel from Charlottesville.
If we have found safe haven in the homes and hearts of one another, we must be able to trust our hearts knew where to let down the guard. Life for most of us is the same today as it was BC (before Charlottesville) but now we have the gift hidden in tragedy - an opportunity to reflect and openly communicate, raw, uncensored.
If there are areas of blindness or an inability to fully grasp the suffering unique to our lives, that is neither bigotry nor hatred. That is the STARTING point for a deeper conversation. Hold on to each other, stay with the conversation through the pain of being alone in your suffering, misunderstood in your vulnerability. Stay with it while your ego groans at the humiliation of being caught redhanded with imperfection. Stay through confusion, inconsistencies, and the shattering of assumption. Believe each other is telling the truth about life seen from that world view. And embrace the heart brave enough to trust you with the truth - incomplete as it is. The rewards to you both are priceless on the other side of these discussions. Give the benefit of the doubt but don't leave your loved ones in the dark.
That said, if anyone is saying that those justifying or marching with Nazis are not guilty by association, they are wounding us all. The roots of this movement are well documented. The organizers are unveiled in their agenda and we must not accept this.
There is evil in the world that goes beyond ignorance and fear; though it breeds in that dark cesspool of both fear and ignorance. Shedding light on that darkness, educating or illuminating will sadly not always be sufficient, though it is worth the effort to save a loved one, unless you must walk away to save yourself.
Know this though - misunderstanding is NOT evil - refusing to try is. It is imperative that we cling to what and whom is worth saving in our lives in order to have the strength necessary to fight what is truly evil. United we stand and must stand against those who would delight in exploiting our differences to cause us to fall.
-Jill Brehm Enders