Americans have better angels than that — than the carnage we witnessed in Charlottesville one week ago. More enlightened souls. A higher conscience. Like the one on display in the photo above, at Wednesday’s tear-stirring citizen vigil at the University of Virginia. That is America.
At least that is majority America, the one that rejected Nazism, anti-Semitism, slavery, racism and segregation long ago, and still holds those tragedies as raw evils of our nature, responsible as they are for some of the most deplorable and haunting acts we have perpetrated on one another across human history.
But there remains a sizeable minority that thinks differently. And lest we forget, they, too, are Americans. They, too, are us. Our brothers and sisters. We work with them. Play with them. Go to the same churches, restaurants, amusement parks and ballgames…together. Spill the blood of war…together.
We usually don’t know at those times that they hold that torch, that we differ that deeply. So much alike do we seem. So much in common do we appear to have. And do.
But not that. Not this. Not what we saw last Saturday. It is at these defining moments that we come face to face with this deepest of all differences and reaffirm our majority-America pledge not to let it be defining at all, but rather to relaunch the enduring campaign to persuade, to endure, to heal, to evolve. To love.
I published a Medium piece a few days after the November 8 election of Donald Trump, called All Tied Up, pointing to the prejudice in our hearts as one of the knots that mark our division tradition as a nation, and the long journey ahead as we press on toward a more perfect Union.
Charlottesville has flared the column’s relevance once more. I reshare it here as part of the joint response to Charlottesville by the team at COMMON, a community of social-enterprise change makers who today stand as one with love and healing, with the American and human creed that we are all created equal, to contribute as a group to what may be the biggest change we must all still make as a country, so that we may reach that glorious day when we leave hatred in the dust heap of history and are no longer…