One of the things I dislike most about Donald Trump is that he has given racism and hatred a political platform. He has literally given it community. People spew out the nastiest, most hateful things and then say “Trump 2016”. I don’t know if he he is a racist. I am not convinced he actually believes in anything but regardless he is trying to ride the racist road to the White House. I think he does that consciously and with purpose and maybe it makes it twice as bad.
I don’t know if you have read the story above or seen the video in it. One comment I read entitled it “America the ugly….”
Be warned it is ugly. The comments in it are racist, sexist and just plain ugly and nasty. Nothing the guy in this story says is OK, defensible, or justifiable. Nothing he says can be explained away or made in anyway OK.
But here is the kicker. I know the guy.
And that is a problem for me. I saw this story this morning and have been reeling all morning. How do I say what I think about his behavior with the intensity it deserves without simply throwing him away. You see he is far more than his hatred. I know that. I simply hate what he said and what he did. He injured anyone who had the misfortune to be on that train that day. I don’t know if he has even owned any of his behavior but with all that being said I won’t hate him, nor will I dismiss him from the human race. I hope nothing I have ever done will ever be the verdict on my life and I refuse to make it the verdict on someone else’s life.
The truth is I know for more than one racist. A lot more. Donald Trump wants to build a wall and kick out 11 or 12 million people. I think there are far more than 12 million racists and I don’t think there can ever be a big enough wall.
One of my favorite things I have heard this weekend is this speech. It is about 20 minutes long and perhaps you don’t have 20 minutes but if you do it is worth a listen.
It says the most revolutionary challenge and the guiding assumption of this country is the assumption we can live together, that we can survive each other. One side says we can. The other says that is foolishness. We can’t. It is us versus them and vote for me and I won’t let them push us around.
I don’t know if we can survive each other but if we can then reconciliation of some kind must be possible. It is not something anyone can do alone. It must be done with people and perhaps some people will never be ready. But I can control my part. I can say you are more than your worst. I can say we are more than what call each other.
There are no excuses for what this guy said. I am not saying to excuse it. Injustice rather it is on a personal level or a wider level is never okay. It has already had real consequences in his life and will probably have more.
I am glad people in my life have offered me support and grace when I have been at my worse. I offer him the same grace.
If reconciliation is impossible or if it is dismissed as weakness or stupidity then in the end the hateful people are right and it is just a question of who kills who.
In the end I believe this simple thing. There are not big enough walls. Nor will there ever be.