Oh, Charlottesville. What have you done?
In case you are quite literally living under a rock (because there is no other way you could not know about this), last Saturday there was a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. This rally consisted of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. David Duke was there. Members of the media were attacked. Three people were killed, two of them police officers. It was a grisly affair.
Grisly though it was, my eyes were opened, literally and figuratively. It was as though I was finally seeing something I had refused to see my entire my life. I have certainly never been naïve enough to believe that racism ended with a bill signed and only one drinking fountain. But I didn’t see it like this. I didn’t realize that I don’t know what it’s like to be black, and to have your entire race oppressed, and to know that your ancestors were sold into slavery. I never, ever will. And I am sorry that for years I pretended that I did know or it didn’t matter or it was part of the past. I see now that I was wrong.
Racism is wrong. There is no way to turn that statement around any other way. White supremacy is wrong. Nazism is wrong. (I would have thought we would have established that by now. We kind of fought a war over it. A lot of people got involved. It was pretty intense.) Any type of hate or prejudice is wrong and it inherently goes against the Savior and His teachings.
“We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
– Senator Orrin Hatch
I truly believe that one of Satan’s biggest and most effective tools is division. Division breeds hate and fear. Without unity, nothing can be accomplished. There can be no progress. There can be no living the way we have been commanded to.
“And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.”
– Mosiah 18:21
There is no excuse for this. Jesus did not set conditions on who we should love. He did not die to redeem only certain people. Aren’t we supposed to follow Him and His example? Because right now it seems like we’re doing a pretty bad job of it.
“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”
– Doctrine & Covenants 38:27
Why is this so hard? Why is love so hard and hate so easy? Why is our society falling into an endless spiral of labels, antagonism, judgment, and blame? When did America, the greatest country in the world turn to violence as a common way to express opinions? If you ask me, that is the definition of barbarism.
We are living in an evil world. It’s becoming worse every day. And it’s going to keep getting worse until the Savior returns. As everything crumbles around us, we have a choice to make. Do we want to live the way He wants us to? Do we want Him to find us doing His work? Or do we want to go with the current and let emotions lead us to making bad decisions?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”
– 1 John 4:18
On a personal note, as a white conservative, I would like to apologize. What happened on Saturday was not the work of conservatives, regardless of what participants may claim. I for one will not judge you based on your skin color or your ethnicity or your religion or whatever else makes you you. And I know a whole lot of white conservatives who feel exactly the same way.
“So God we pray to you / Humble ourselves again / Lord, would You hear our cry? / Lord, will You heal our land?”
– “Heal Our Land” by Kari Jobe