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Grace from Gary

posted Aug 17, 2017, 8:40 PM by Gary Walpole

Dear Participants and Friends of the Peace Community of Faith,

Many of us are struggling with the experience of the blatant racism demonstrated in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend and the number of statements that have come from President Trump that do not vehemently condemn such expressions of racism and white nationalism.

Not far from the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, VA there is a slave block where thousands of black men, women, and children were sold into slavery. We should not forget that racism runs deep in the cultural DNA of the United States. With each generation, racism becomes less influential but it has not gone away. It is still a significant cultural dynamic for a small minority of white citizens of the United States. It remains a subtle current that pulls at each of us.

A few words of hope.

If you are disturbed with many of the stories you have heard this week showing support or trying to downplay the wrongness of the white nationalist movement in the United States – you’re in good company!

If you have shared how disturbed you are about what white nationalists instigated in Charlottesville with someone you care about – you are not carrying the burden alone!

If you have shared how disturbed you are about what white nationalists instigated in Charlottesville through social media or in conversations – you are part of the solution!

If you have thought of asking what policies your work, social organization, local school or city have regarding racism – you are impacting your local community. If these community institutions have no policies rejecting racism and you advocate for such a policy – you are making a difference close to home.

Don’t forget you are not alone.

Remember there are hundreds of vigils for peace and healing throughout the United States which you can be part of in person or in spirit.

Remember the most liked tweet that has ever been shared was a Nelson Mandela quote tweeted after the Charlottesville violence by former President Barack Obama: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

There is a story in the Gospel of Matthew of a disciple of Jesus who steps out of the safety of a boat into a wind torn waves (Matthew 14:22-33). This seems like an appropriate metaphor for us today. We are living in a time of wind torn waves. In the story, the disciple discovers, that alone we sink into waves. It is when we reach out to support each other that the power of God’s love transforms the world.

Although sometimes we think we do, no one ever stands alone.

Grace from Gary