We humans are neither all good nor all evil. We harbor hatreds and jealousy, but can be giving and compassionate as well.
As you remember dear followers, I spent a few days in the Berkshire, visiting old friends, and making new friends while touring a local Winery in New Marlboro, Ma. . called The Troise Emme Winery. Naturally, talk turned to the events in Charlottesville and divisions in our country. On Friday, there were no divisions at the Winery as diverse groups of families made their way there, to taste the wine and share stories with the owners.
Yes, we’re in the midst of chaotic times and have to make sure to live and find pleasure in every day. We can be serious about our plight and serious about having relationship discussions. Nothing is simple. In Charlottesville we witnessed the hatred and violence expressed by white supremacist groups. Their hatreds of the other is unsupoortable. Their incitement to violence is unsupportable. They welcome violence against all other groups.
As a Nation we should be aware of the very real divisions, mistrust and fear some “others have for the other! That’s the National dialogue I envision happening.
I know some Jewish folks who are really scared of the rise of Muslim’s in America and the western world. No matter that they too, were refugees escaping persecution. We see the horrific news coming out of Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Brussels, Paris, and the list goes on, it’s frightening!
And yet , “we the People” view the carnage and have empathy for our fellow man. ISIS or home grown terrorists win, when they disrupt our lives and make us fearful. A civilized, transparent, compassionate society can ultimately whither the roots of chaos and terror. This I truly believe!
On Saturday night I attended a premier performance by a young talented black playwright , James Anthony Tyler. His play @ the St James Church in Great Barrington was a fund raiser for The CCR, The Clinton Church Restoration project , founded by my friends, the Gunn’s of Sheffield Ma. Mr. Tyler’s play, “Some Old Black Man” deals with old age, the loss of independence, and the elder black father’s thinly veiled racism and disappointment in his son. They discuss the merits of his mother and the white woman he married because she truly loved and understood him. As the father takes up residence in his son’s NYC penthouse, they are left to confront some uncomfortable truths about their feelings for each other and their growing respect for the other.
We all have inner conflicts and until we understand ourselves and our motivation, it is difficult to have a dialogue with those we love and far more difficult to have a dialogue with folks ” thought of as the other”. As a National Dialogue begins, I would recommend the following security when groups assemble with disagreements that could lead to conflict. According to Lawrence Tribe, a Constitutional scholar, 1st and 2nd Amendment rights are not infringed upon when modifications are required to avert violence. Local Police can and should set the ” rules of engagement “. The Boston Police maintained order and vigilance over the weekend by insisting on peaceful assembly, by eliminating, all weapons, even sticks holding banners. More than 20, 000 assembled peacefully.
No one has the right to bring weapons, of any sort to a protest. Nazism and its symbols and language, is not supported in America. Protests should be confined to specific routes and those routes should be blocked to vehicular traffic, standard operating procedure in this era of the ” lone terrorist “.
Fittingly when Americans have this dialogue, think about why we’re so distrustful of one another and cheer James Anthony Tyler for his current play, about race and relationships while awaiting eagerly for the opening of his new play, titled “Inequality“, debuting in London this fall.
When thinking about Inequality, it’s not all about the money. In America, we claim a National Emergency when white men become addicted to opioids. Have we forgotten that Black and Latino men are incarcerated for minor possession of drugs at a much higher rate than whites? They are 20 times more likely to be sentenced to life without parole for non-violent offenses according to data from the ACLU. All men and women deserve our compassion, empathy, and drug counseling in America, independent of race and gender. This is a National Emergency for Americans, all of us. This is also about an unfair justice system across this country. Inconsistent and unfair bail laws, and harsh unjust sentencing laws delivered through a biased, often prejudiced system that goes unchecked.
We have much to think about. Only calm deliberative thinking about our plight will bring us further towards equality and prosperity.
When we unite, we can move mountains. I advocate for uniting and seeking common ground. If we move forward together to craft new legislation, we will create a more Just and Equal Society.
See you Monday and we’ll chat.
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