A Message That Is A “Must Read” For All Americans

The following is a special message written by a man of faith. It deserves to be spread across the country and the world. This was written before the President offered new and mixed messages about hatred, including the Phoenix speech where he insinuated he was prodded by his staff to attack the haters. This is not political. It is a heartfelt and clear message by a man who has witnessed what language and attitudes of leaders can do to not only a country but to millions of people.

 

 

August 13, 2017

 

Cry the Beloved Country

 

Dear Friends,

 

Like each and every single one of you (and I sincerely hope that I can state that without the slightest equivocation or reservation) I too have been left utterly horrified by the awful and tragic events we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend beginning with a shameful, bigoted, racially-inspired, torch-lit parade through one of this country’s most beautiful college campuses and ending, yesterday, with the completely inexcusable and utterly contemptible rhetoric and behavior of a marauding gang of white supremacists hellbent on bringing chaos and calamity to one of America’s most iconic cities.

 

As I watched the news on CNN last night, I couldn’t help but shake my head in utter disbelief: where on earth was I? Was this an ugly throwback to the Apartheid years of the old, racially-divided South Africa that I lived under – replete with its overtly white supremacist demagoguery and thuggery that constantly fueled the violent flames of racial intolerance and anti-Semitism – or was this in fact the sad, bedeviled, tortured face of the America of 2017 incapable of letting go of past prejudices; unable to climb out of the dark, sinister dungeons of racial hatred and oppression of the “other” and into the radiant light of a tolerant, hopeful, optimistic, inclusive nation where we are judged, solely, by the content of our good, noble character and not, God forbid, by the color of our skin.

 

I grew up in, to all intents and purposes, a pigmentocracy; the “original” beloved country that we cried for. Little did I realize that such an odious, disgraceful philosophy still exists in certain quarters of our population in this country. And make no mistake about it: the so-called “alt-right” have been significantly emboldened by the ugly, divisive, charged, combative rhetoric that we have witnessed, time and again, by this Administration.

 

J’accuse: I accuse our President of willfully and woefully omitting in yesterday’s verbal comments any specific, explicit reference to the white supremacist factions who were, ultimately, responsible for yesterday’s mayhem and carnage on the streets of Charlottesville.

 

J’accuse: I accuse our President of deliberately failing to condemn, in the strongest and most unambiguous terms, the very nature and existence of these malicious groups that have NO place in your America or mine.

 

J’accuse: I accuse our President of failing to recognize the “fire and fury” of these prejudiced thugs – many among his most ardent supporters – and calling them out for who and what they are: the most contemptible and vile among our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual citizenry and, quite frankly, who don’t deserve to see the light of day.

 

I remain consoled by the incontrovertible fact that the overwhelming majority of our fellow Americans are good, decent, kind, generous, compassionate, respectful, law-abiding citizens and that we all yearn, each and every day, for a truly beloved country that will reflect the grand, abiding values and ideals of its founders.

 

On the last day of our congregational tour to South Africa in November 2014, we visited the sprawling township of Soweto where Nelson Mandela once lived. There, outside his humble abode, is a large painted mural adorned with one of his most famous quotes: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

 

May we all learn from and teach by, our own good, rightful conduct.

Thanks for reading.

 

Larry

 

 

 

It Is A Sad Day In America

As shocked White House advisers looked on, President Donald Trump exposed the bigotry that we all thought was beneath the surface. We hoped that it wasn’t real, that it was just to keep the right wing happy,  but there is a difference between the right wing of the Republican Party and the leftovers from the infamous brown shirts of the Hitler era. Frankly, I couldn’t believe the fire in his voice, the hate in his face, the grimace of fury, Trump almost coming completely unhinged. Now we know for sure where his sympathies are.

White Supremacists are different. They just don’t hate like the normal haters, and there are plenty of them.  If they could, they would wipe African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Catholics and Muslims off the face of the earth. I’ve seen hatred up close, watching it unfold against the Civil Rights movement in the sixties. That, in itself, was pretty bad, but this is different. These are individuals and groups who were celebrating Trump’s racially tinged birther movement years after he started it. After all, Trump spent a fortune trying to sell a lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not a legitimate President of the United States.

It takes a lot to shock me anymore about Trump’s behavior as a human being. But I have to tell you I was shocked that he made his preferences so transparent. And yet I wonder. For every White Supremacist, there are people that we pass every day, who hold dear their hatred against people “not like them.” But here is the genuine problem we have facing us. Once hatred begins it always spreads from one group to another. The David Dukes of the world and the alt-right advocates hate everybody, except people like them. But is everyone perfect? And what scares the supremacists? Do they really feel supreme, and better than others. Is it about color, or anger against the system? I mean, why waste your energy hating when you can try to love and care. And for every one of the haters, there are thousands, millions of Americans who spend their days caring and loving.

The bad news is that Donald Trump has enabled the violence by ignoring it. Now he has, whether he understands or not, made it acceptable by using the biggest bully pulpit in the world to infer that extremism like the kind we saw in Virginia, was equal on both sides of the divide.

The good news? Americans are better than that. We know it. John McCain knows it. General Kelly , the Chief of Staff, who bowed his head during Trump’s outburst, knows it. Republicans and Democrats and independents know it. We’ve been waiting since November to see signs that President Trump would moderate, be practical, appear to be caring. Now we know it is simply not going to happen.

That’s why it was such a sad day in America.