I’ve been following the terrible news from Charlottesville for a couple of days; I’ve been seeing it on tv, on Twitter, on Facebook, in the newspapers; I’ve been looking at websites I would never have even realised existed; I’ve even followed a page on Twitter that I couldn’t have envisaged myself doing, even yesterday!
What has happened to people? Where did well-fed, reasonably educated people – particularly young, white males – get the idea that they ‘own’ entire countries and should be allowed to rid those countries of anyone they consider to be useless, inferior, wrong?
There are people in America (and other countries) who have been treated badly for so long by majorities that they have genuine grievances yet do not carry semi-automatic weapons to supposedly peaceful demonstrations. There are people who are poor through very little fault of their own, yet would give you the shirt off their back if they thought you needed it more than they.
I am lucky enough to have been born in America during the second world war and I have never lived in a war-zone. I have always been a peace-loving human being who carries a grudge for about five minutes before being friends again (except once and that person would NEVER have been a friend even if he hadn’t tried to ruin our lives and those of other friends). I try always to be truthful (otherwise why would I bother to tell you about my one long-held grudge?) and have always been careful not to hurt others by being cruel or thoughtless – although I haven’t always succeeded in that. I’m a coward when it comes to pain, fearful of things other people do quite naturally, and am wondering whether I have the balls to actually (yes, I know, that’s a split infinitive,) publish this.
Where did this so-called Christian right come from, who are keen for women to give birth to children they can’t look after; who believe that a book written several hundred years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, is necessarily historical and that the older book is full of ‘truth’ and that, therefore, it is okay to pollute, to slaughter wild animals for ‘fun’, to enslave people, to laugh at the climate change which may bring devastation to this planet sooner rather than later and to give people the idea that any one man can save them from the ‘antichrist’?
The outcome of everything that has been happening over the past year and more is that I have become a “leftie” if being so is to care for one’s fellow beings, to cry when bad things happen to others, to feel compassion for those trying to escape horrific wars, to believe that it is right and fair that all people should earn a decent wage for a decent job done, that people should have good health-care, a good education, the right to live in pleasant surroundings and not be subjected to abuse because of the colour of their skin, the country they have come from, the religion they follow, the sexual orientation they have, that women and men of all colours and ethnicities should expect equality and freedom from persecution. (Mind you, these are all things I have believed my entire life!)
I would like to say to Trump, his cronies, the majority of the Republican party, the fascists and haters and those who would cause harm, there are more of us than there are of you. It may take time but ‘we’ WILL win!