With Unite the Right protestors gathering in DC and many more planning to counter protest their messaging, all of us locally are bracing for the insanity, the hate and the possible violence. I’m working today, so I can’t be there to stand against the hate. But in these last few days running up to another rearing of white supremacy’s ugly head I did rework one of my images about our beautiful diversity. ->
The gravitational pull to meet hate with hate and ignorance with ridicule and disgust is strong and difficult to ignore. I appreciated so much this week when our Bishop in DC called us to love, to respond with what is best in humanity and not with violence or more hatred. I have made time this week to listen to the voices that matter, voices which lead me to love, to peace, to something positive.
I can’t be there at Lafayette Square to be seen today, but I still have a responsibility to be heard. We all must be heard. White supremacy is wrong, sinful, ignorant and destructive. Racism is a killing white sin in our society which must be confronted and defeated. These militant white supremacist clowns dressed up with their Confederate patches, racist flags and guns, and their narrative of hate and division, must be rejected with courage, dignity and love at every opportunity. (By the way, DC has said “no guns” to the white supremacists at this protest. Wouldn’t it be nice if what works to keep the President’s house safe would be applied to keep us all safe? hmmmm) We must always fight for liberty, equality and justice… but let us not have fighting in the streets. We need to make sure we elect the women and men who will help us bring the needed change. #midterms We need to have the courage to speak up against division and hate. We have to be heard.
Let’s change the narrative every time someone says we’re losing American culture or white culture or some other racist code phrase. America has never been a culture, but a joining of cultures. America has never been perfect, but a tension filled meeting of diverse people who can very often make beautiful things from our sharing. We have never been red white and blue, but every wonderful shade of human.
So, the sad folks of Westboro Baptist Church came to Bethesda today with a message of hate and condemnation; they’re the “God hates fags” folks. They stood outside my son’s high school with graphically disgusting signs, taunts of hatred and shameful messages of violence. I did not want to validate their illness by taking pictures of them. Instead I took a picture of the students’ response, one of love. That sign says it all.
I’m filled with parental pride that my son asked if he could go in early and stand with the other students of the school in quiet response to these people of hate. My son gets it. My son knows that the haters are wrong. My son is not growing up to be a hater. I was proud to stand with other parents and keep our cool while these people were protected in their right to speak their sick minds. I’m not sure how, but we kept our cool.
There’s nothing new about their illness. If you read their website it becomes obvious that they are completely messed up. And I’m no where near the first to say that they are wrong, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s important that we say they are wrong. It’s important that we stand against that kind of hate. They are wrong.
I’m back in my office now, myself somewhat sick in heart. I’ve got some Rich Mullins playing, trying to chase away the demons.
“Savior God, pour out your Spirit on these students in Bethesda. Bless them for their commitment to love, for love belongs to and flows from you… and deliver us from evil.”