Yesterday Nathalie Bigord sat next to me during the Service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett. Our quick greetings and check-ins came to the same place. It doesn’t feel good to wake up in a country where white supremacists gather to protest the removal of a Confederate Statue. It feels worse that the anti-racist protesters who were there were then devastated by one of the white supremacists driving into them with his car.
And then I found myself thinking and half saying how I wish I could find my country again. This isn’t my country.
Except that this is my country.
This is where centuries of a white supremacist system (continually pretending that it is not) leads us.
What I have lost is an illusion. My illusion is that largely we as Americans have lived up to the words–that all men are created equal and that their Creator has endowed them with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We have not lived up to those words well, ever. Women. People of color. Poor, uneducated people of any skin tone. They have never fully enjoyed those ideals as a matter of fact.
So, if I find myself longing to return to this country, I am longing for an illusion that I’ve been suckered into believing exists.
Take a step beyond that and insist that we actually have lived up to all those ideas–well, that’s just delusion. There’s fairly good evidence that white men with money, education and opportunity have enjoyed some or many of those ideals. But, we currently live with an executive government which has chosen to try and dismantle all those structures which would help women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and students enjoy some equal footing into those ideals.
We need solutions. Policies in a vast nation like ours are a must, but before policies, we have to return to something real. Policies are just ideas which may or may not reflect reality. When ungrounded policies are enforced, they create suffering.
If we can find a way to see every other person as some relation of ours, we have a foundation from which to make plans that are solutions to this failing nation.
Heather Heyer. Can you see her as a relation? She is the 32 year old woman who was killed in Charlottsville on Saturday. She was protesting the white supremacists there. We have lost a sister who understood what a toxic poison white supremacy is in our nation. She was a white person standing up against white people who are deeply poisoned by this hatred and fear.
James Alex Fields. Can you see him as a relation? He is the 20 year old man who was in Charlottsville to protest with the white supremacists. He is the one who drove his car into the crowd injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer. We have a young brother who is deeply poisoned by this hatred and fear. Will it entirely consume him? How many others like him are there?
Our solutions have to be relational. Otherwise, we will just kick this nasty, defiled can down the street for another day.
How to start? Rev. Jan reminded me in her sermon on Sunday of a Druid prayer that I find very powerful: Today, I will look for the Goddess in all that I do and all that I see: Her face in every face, Her presence in all places, Her love surrounding me, embracing and upholding me.
No one is outside the circle of love.