Overnight, the beautiful city of Charlottesville, Virginia, became synonymous with Nazi hate vs Liberal agendas. In order to get a complete idea of how that happened, one needs to know the history of the place. And for the record, nothing justifies the kind of violence we are seeing everyday in this country, and especially in this particular event.
Hate will beget more hate. As individuals, we often hear there’s not much one person can do. That’s a common lie. As Bernadette Peters sang, “If just one person believes in you,” you can learn to believe in yourself. If you guard your heart against hate, you will spread more love. Peace begins with me and with you. Love is the answer to hate.
I know it’s not easy, I have had my share of people I don’t know if I could tolerate. By not focusing on their issue, they have gone on their own path. I have lost people I loved as well, but no path is without potholes and stones.
According to the Visit Charlottesville organization, the place and the names are straight out of history lessons, and three presidents were born there. Reference to the Civil War is brief: “Unlike many communities, however, the town itself was largely unscathed, despite its roles manufacturing Confederate uniforms and tending countless wounded Confederate soldiers at the overrun University hospital.”
As a writer, put yourself in the position of a young white man who has been wounded fighting for, not slavery as people often believe, but for the right of the states to make their own individual laws that are different from Federal law. You heal enough to make your way to the farm your father inherited from his father, determined to make a new life there. One of the slaves you grew up with has stayed on because he has nowhere to go, really. He’s a friend now, and you hire him to help out. That’s not a common outcome. But if it had been, the south might have emerged as a different land after the war.
Put yourself in the position of a young white woman whose husband and brother both went off to fight for state rights. As the war turned against the south, the slaves became freemen and freewomen. A few stayed on because things were tough all over. One of the house servants, a girl you grew up with, bade you a tearful goodbye. She is going to find her children that have all been sold to one master or another. You tell her she is welcome there when she has her family back together. Again, did that really happen? Not that I know of, but I am not a scholar of Civil War and Post War history.
My point is that individuals can make huge differences in how future events start and end. People who hold on to the belief that someone else got the good fortune that is due to them are going to keep that hurt inside and allow it to grow into a cancer of the spirit. Teaching children that resentment of the good that other people receive puts off their own rewards may help bring more love and kindness into our society.
Where will Charlottesville go from here? With all my might, I see the city engulfed in white light that heals and protects, while also bringing justice to those who were injured. To the woman who was killed, her spirit now joins those of all who seek justice for justice’s sake. She is blessed and free from any more pain. She is beyond the ability of hate to hurt her. She will be remembered for many years as the one who said, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Wilco recorded a track called “All Lives, You Say?” which you can download for $1. Proceeds go to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Wolf Eyes released an album called No Hate to benefit Heather Heyer’s family.
Before I could even get this posted, a terror attack in Barcelona killed one and injured 37. So far no group has claimed credit for this act. Another vehicle driven into a crowd, not guns, not explosives. How do we regulate cars and trucks and vans?
Thank you for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.