I suppose growing up in the San Luis Valley has protected most “old timers” from what’s been happening around the globe, so we are palpably shocked when something really bad takes place right here at home.
What has been growing recently – and it has taken some time for me to truly feel it -- is the hatred that has slithered out from under an international rock and landed here. In Alamosa. In peaceful “Moosie.”
I’m not going to suggest that the man who uttered – actually posted – a hate-filled comment be hanged by the thumbs in the main intersection of town while people throw rotten tomatoes at him. Back in college, I learned about the “Freudian slip,” that moment when one’s innermost thoughts burst to the surface in an inappropriate manner.
Knowing many efficient, caring Republicans, Democrats and independents, I can’t remotely believe all of the GOP is dedicated to hating the poor among us just because someone posted it on an official web page. I can’t blame the “libs” and “snowflakes” who want to change the world.
Having just finished reading at least 100 comments regarding yet another expression of ugliness – an unfair nickname given a past elected official – and the accusations, name-calling and statements of hatred posted by the commentators, I find myself wondering if every human being has a “hate valve” that will blow open if there is enough pressure.
Assessing my own attitudes in the 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King was killed, I have determined that I cannot truly hate. Hatred brings with it wishes for all sorts of evil to befall a specific target. I may greatly dislike someone or some thing and tuck it away in a special graveyard inside my mind.
What’s going on, even here at home, is tribal warfare, not between ethic groups, but between political parties and philosophies. Groups who wouldn’t eat together in 1970 toil side by side to make things better because they share their world, while others cling to outdated ideas and seem to enjoy chaos.
I can’t accuse the president, any local partisan or the myriad of posters on social media of making hatred “fashionable,” an emotion that can be freely expressed in thought, word and deed. Hitting someone in the head with a Tiki torch shouldn’t be in the playbook.
There’s a big spot on the national conscience that should be erased by those who put it there. That’s you and me, along with everyone who lives in the United States and its territories.
Congress will still fight among themselves about philosophies, so progress will still be slow.
The struggle that began long before Dr. King emerged as a leader is still there.
He promoted non-violence, something that has fallen by the wayside.
Millions of persons are taking to the streets, picketing for needed change, then watching as unfair commentary and outright lies are spread about their leaders.
Just like the local republican, they learn that unfair politics are like a broken feather pillow. Some of the feathers can be gathered up and put back, but others fly in the wind, landing where they will continue to be out of place.
It’s up to the people and we can fix it! Register and vote, attend local meetings and talk with neighbors.
See you there.