In the wake of Charlottesville and the whirlwind of political fallout that has rained down on this administration, our President remains committed to his original statement, stating, “I think there is blame on both sides.” It seems from his statement both from Saturday and Monday, that the President remains reluctant to call out these alt-right groups for what they are: domestic terrorist organizations. Considering his relentless use of the term “radical Islamic terrorists” and his propensity to label everything and dispense judgement from his high-tower, this reluctance seems out of place.
There is hate everywhere, there is no question, and it appears this hatemongering has gained momentum in the last few years (insert your opinion on the cause here). Over the course of the last decade, this nation has become more and more divided with those leaning left, pressing ever towards the left and those on the right side, scooting further right. From the riots in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown to the Baltimore protests over the death of Freddie Gray, our American society is splitting in two, a nation divided as we stand.
The 2016 election was one of the most contentious to date and the rhetoric during the campaign, from both sides, was the worst I have witnessed or read about, and this age of Trump has had an ever dividing effect on our populace.
Yes, hate and bigotry exists among all humans. We are sentient beings and such sentience brings about individual opinions which as we age, the scars of our experiences tend to dictate these opinions, and many of us tend to dig in and white knuckle those opinions as part of our being. This is the danger of nationalism, see Europe in the 1930’s for some background.
But what if we lowered our guard a bit and truly listened to the other side? Placed ourselves in their proverbial shoes and walked that mile? Take our life experiences away and the outward features that make us recognizable and we are all the same: blood, flesh and bone. Only our individual scars from life separate us from those we encounter and scars, well, those are relatable as everyone has them. Scars from our youth, our mistakes. Impressions imprinted on us from those who have wronged us in ways others might understand if we would only lower the walls that we put up for protection against being scarred once again.
Instead of retreating to the corners of our, perhaps, misguided beliefs, maybe we should take that step forward and meet each other where we all can understand, in the arena of this life we are all trying to understand and thrive in. Hate against hate produces hate, but acts of empathy and understanding destroy it.
Featured image courtesy of Twitter