I wrote last week about the value of diverse opinions and world views. This weekend we saw in Charlottesville a manifestation of what happens in society when people do not believe that. We saw a group of people who progressed from not believing that people’s view are valid to not believing that those people themselves are of worth. Sadly, it is a short journey between those two opinions.
I do not understand the people who marched in Charlottesville. The Southern Confederacy and the Nazis were wrong. Full stop. There is no debate here. Both regimes were fundamentally based on the idea that there is a kind of person that doesn’t count as a person. Both believe that white people have a genetic advantage that makes them better than others. This is absurd and is based on nothing more than hate, fear, and control.
They are wrong. I cannot begin to count the numbers of ways that they are wrong. No matter what objective standard you want to use to evaluate their claims, they are wrong. They are only right in their own minds so they falsely create the evidence that prove them right. They justify, excuse, and outright lie to under gird their own position. They create a narrative where they are the brave heroes fighting for truth and justice. They are wrong. They are, in fact, the villains of this piece. The simple fact that Hollywood can still use Nazis as a storytelling crutch to easily identify villains should be a very large hint that THEY ARE WRONG! How a white man can look at the society we live in and think, “I’m getting a raw deal here.” is beyond me.
Our society was created by white men, for white men. Over the decades we have tried to break through those barriers and include women, people of colors, non-Christians, LGBTQ folks, and anyone else who isn’t a WASP man. And when we compare where we are now to where were we a century ago it is better, it’s still not good. The simple fact that we have to be reminded that Black Lives Matter shows how far we still have to go. The fact that a college student caught with three joints gets a stricter prison sentence than one who rapes an unconscious woman shows how far we still have to go.
The fact that people are more concerned about who sits in the bathroom stall next to them than who sits in the White House shows us how far we still have to go.
These angry white men want to go back to the days when they were the undisputed rulers of the universe. Not because they are the best qualified, most educated, and highest skilled but because they deserve it because of their gender and the color of their skin. The deck is already stacked in their favor, but that isn’t good enough. They want everyone else out of the game entirely. They, like the historic groups they take their names from, are the losers of history. They will not win. We will not let them.
Hate has no place here. I am not afraid of people who are different. I do not think that someone else receiving privilege takes away from mine. I do not fear being replaced. I believe that understanding and inclusion make us stronger not weaker.
Jesus told us to love our neighbor. When asked to clarify who our neighbor was, he held up a person who was reviled and despised as the example of a good neighbor. Our neighbor is the person least like us, the person we don’t want to love, the person who is hard to love. Jesus calls us to love anyway. Any time we act against that commandment we are acting against the gospel. White supremacy is more than wrong, it is deeply sinful and goes against what Jesus said was the second greatest commandment in all the law.
No matter what these terrorists claim, they are wrong. In the long story of history they will fail and the world will be better for it.