Backlash, Whiplash

No doubt we’ve all  heard plenty of opinions about what happened over the weekend in Charlottesville and how the president responded. The tragedy wasn’t personal to him. He knows the young woman who died no doubt didn’t support him. But the perpetrator and his racist, Nazi, KKK, alt.right compatriots are his supporters. So he just read what his staff had written for him, first blaming the ‘many sides,’ then two days later getting more specific about the violence-prone racists. But there was no passion in his words either time, and he didn’t reject their support. After all, he is the one who has emboldened the masses of hate-mongers on the right with his birther conspiracy and his race-baiting campaign.

Monday afternoon I decided to meditate on the question about why, in the year 2017, we are still dealing with hate groups marching in the South with torches, carrying semi-automatic weapons, and baseball bats. Haven’t we progressed past those days of segregation and lynchings? The Nazi slogan ‘blood and soil’ was shouted out right along with ‘take America Back.’ Back where, to white-only bathrooms, poll taxes for blacks? Why not AM radio and black and white TV as well?

I put those thoughts out as I drifted into my meditative state. Finally, I let it go and cleared my mind and waited to see what, if anything, might emerge. Almost immediately an answer came to me in a vision and a voice. I saw a speed boat idling on a body of water. On board was a woman I’ve never seen before. The boat suddenly sped forward and she fell back in her seat.

The woman turned, looked at me and  said: When we move rapidly ahead, there’s a reaction in the opposite direction. That was it. The comment to me referred to those Americans who feel threatened by change and are fighting to hold onto the past, who see the direction of the racial make-up and the growing political power of minorities as a reason to get angry. That fear and anger brought on the election of a completely unqualified buffoon, a man only interested in his own legacy, his own success, his own pride at the expense of anyone who blocked his way.

In the vision, the woman fell back into her seat, but she didn’t fall overboard, and the boat continued on. That to me suggests that we have a rocky path ahead, that there will be more incidents like what happened in Charlottesville. That’s especially true if the perceived leader of the alt.right, D.T., is removed from office – a growing possibility. But the country moves ahead.

 

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12 Responses to Backlash, Whiplash

  1. lauren raine says:

    I am profoundly shamed to be an american these days. if i was travelling I would have maple leaves all over my luggage, and if I was younger and freer I would leave the country for new zealand. Shame! Shame to have a would be tyrant and fascist president that condones in any way violent men who carry flags with swastikas on them.

    my father fought in wwII, and there is a great deal he never was able to talk about. But when i was 10 he took all of us to Auschwitz. It was important for him to let us know what happened there, to remember so that it would never happen again. These people are not people with “a difference of opinion”. These ar e people advocating horrific genocide, lynchings, violence. That corrupt fool in the white house sickens me. That america has come to this is absolutely shameful.

    • Darren says:

      The politicians aren’t much better over here in Australia, as this barely veiled (pardon the pun) white nationalist shows by making a fool of herself and our country just a little while ago –
      “Pauline Hanson wears burka to Question Time in the Senate, slammed by George Brandis”
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/pauline-hanson-wears-burka-to-question-time-in-the-senate/8816886
      It feels like the late 1930s all over the world again at the moment.

      • Rob and Trish says:

        It does feel like a throwback. With each day, each stupid tweet, each new drama and crisis that trump creates, it feels like no one is in charge of the US government – except the crazies. But, the US is far larger than Germany and if trump had designs on turning the country into a fascist regime, it’s going to be an uphill battle for him. That said, this is our ugly collective shadow and it’s pretty pathetic and frighteningly powerful.

  2. Darren says:

    I hired the movie ‘Sully’ out on DVD and thought it was ironic that the plane that crashed into the Hudson was heading to Charlottesville.
    When I read all of the news coming out of the USA I’m glad that I live in Australia, but hate and violence is like a virus and I wonder how long we can keep it off our streets.

    • Rob and Trish says:

      I enjoyed that movie! I’d forgotten that the plane as headed to Charlottesville. Yeah, it’s like trump has triggered the collective shadow of the American soul. Pathetic.

      • Darren says:

        I got that wrong with the plane’s destination, it was Charlotte, North Carolina, not Charlottesville.
        Oops!
        Still it was a great movie that’s worth watching.

  3. C.J. says:

    Yes. I know. I was raised in Montgomery in the 1950s, in the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, when blacks were forced to sit in the back of the bus, were not allowed in white restaurants, were the maids of wealthy white people, etc. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a classic book that describes those times accurately. I had the great good fortune to have parents who were not racists in a time when racism was the norm. My Dad, a cattleman, had several black men working with/for him, and those men were considered by my Dad to be his equals. They were paid equal salaries; they were frequently welcome guests in our home and in our backyard get-togethers. I understand that this was not the norm, and I am aware that having such a family was a blessing beyond blessings, for which I will forever be grateful.

  4. C.J. says:

    I absolutely respect and honor your thoughts and opinions on the natter. We simply must agree to disagree, without rancor or challenge. That’s what defines amiable discussions and it’s our differences that help to render us friends. We learn from each other! My most dreadful sense, watching the holocaust that occurred in Charlottesville and so many other locations in America, escalating at an alarming rate that has brought us to the very brink of another Civil War, is that Civil War is already raging. These killing fields that are rampant are opening doors wide for evil to re-emerge in the forms of the KKK, the White Supremacists, the equally despotic black racist groups, and worst of all, our common enemy, the Islamic Terrorists. I look at today’s children, my grandchildren, and try to see through THEIR eyes how such carnage is framing their ideas and ideals. It frightens me, because it continues to grow, gaining momentum every day, every moment. As a pacifist, I abhor violence in all its expressions, knowing that violence only begets more violence, and killing, more killing….often of innocents such as the lovely young woman in Charlottesville. Much of this began long before the arrival on the scene of Donald Trump, and his election has contributed hugely to the rising tides of hatred and destruction. I am very old; making my journey in the final chapters of this incarnation, and I weep for the youngsters of today. I have such wonderful memories of MY childhood; of skating and riding my bike and playing outside without fear of harm; of picking blackberries with neighbor kids, and after dark, of catching fireflies in mason jars with holes in the lids, fascinated by their amazing lights and wondering how those lights occurred before releasing them to fly away; of dancing in the water spraying from a garden hose; of playing hide and seek with no fears of being snatched by predators. Such grand, simple memories of a time when children were safe in our schools and churches and yards and streets. Not so, today. It makes me sad, and makes me desperately want to be an instrument of positive Change, but not knowing how. If Trump is dethroned by whatever means, who will take his place at the helm of our national ship? Who can guide us out of this
    ever-increasing danger that is consuming our beloved United States of America….because we are no longer united….. and that’s another worrisome
    thought.

  5. C.J. says:

    I’d like to make a comment, and hope it doesn’t offend anyone but am aware that it might. It isn’t exactly relevant to the post. My comments reference situations that began a few years ago, not after the DJT election. I am having a genuine, personal issue with the black population in America demanding that everything connected to The War Between The States be destroyed, ie, statues of Confederate generals, Confederate flags, etc etc etc. Listen up, people: THE NORTH WON THE WAR FOR YOU! THE SOUTH LOST THE WAR! You gained your freedom from slavery BECAUSE THE UNION WON THE WAR! It is OVER, and is one of the most significant events in this country’s history. In my opinion, you should REJOICE in the memories of a War that was WON FOR YOU, and stop your angry destruction against the Confederates who surrendered and as a result gained your freedom from slavery. If I were black, I would smile every time I saw a statue or a flag that represents a VICTORY for me . It would be understandable if the South had won; if the Confederates had won. But that didn’t happen. So why are you so incensed whenever you look at symbols that represent your FREEDOM? Sorry, but I don’t get it, and I don’t understand your attitudes. How would you feel if white folks demanded that statues of Dr. Martin Luther King and other symbols of your freedom be destroyed? I simply cannot comprehend the mind-set that guides the destruction of symbols of your Victory. OK. I’ve had my say.

    • Rob and Trish says:

      I think the easy answer is that blacks don’t see those statues as symbols of their freedom. Hardly. I don’t either. They are symbols of “The South will rise again,” the mentality that blacks had it pretty good as slaves…etc. They symbolize an unwillingness to let go of their lost past, a time when whites just knew they were a superior race and blacks were 3/5 citizens. The events of Charlottesville show those sentiments are still strong and its not just among Southern whites.