I was silent for a few days because I was just trying to take this all in. I was, and still am, in a state of disbelief. I still can't get over seeing people with torches walking through the streets of my state chanting Nazi slogans and holding Nazi postures.
As much as I don't want this to be real, it is.
The pure hatred that spewed from their mouths was detestable and shocking and painful. I just read a quote today from one of the neo-Nazi participants that referred to protestors as "genetic refuse."
As a human, as a mother, as someone who tries to see the best in people, protestors were considered trash. Trash. That means whether physically there protesting or not, all of us that don't agree with them are likened to a piece of dirt that you discard.
I've consistently told my daughter that there are no bad vs good people, just people that make bad vs good decisions, bad vs good choices. I've had to rethink this over the past few days. I questioned whether that's accurate, whether I still stand by that belief.
After much reflection, I've decided that I still stand by that belief. While I believe that the words and actions of the white supremacists/neo-Nazis were despicable, their beliefs reprehensible, I still don't support labeling any person as good vs bad.
On one hand, that's painful to write. Part of me doesn't want to believe that these beliefs are a choice. It's such an immensely hateful way to engage with the world. On the other hand, it's reassuring to believe it's a choice...that there's a separation between the person and their beliefs, thoughts, and actions. It means that a person can change. It means that there's hope.
I can't relate to these folks. I find their actions nauseating and despicable. I thought about staying silent, but I cannot remain silent. I just don't believe silence is an option.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do. For now, I write. For now, I ensure my daughter knows that hatred does not live here in this house, in our beliefs.
Until I realize what more I can do, I'll continue to process my thoughts and feelings about it all.
Be open to what comes.