Wake Up

I rarely engage in politics on FB, but the events in Charlottesville are revealing with such brutal clarity how unfit and dangerous Donald Trump is as a president for this country. Today I can’t be quiet.

I was born in Germany and lived there for the first 26 years of my life. My family history, my cultural background and my own encounters with violence have taught me a lot about the horrors of Naziism and white supremacy. At school, when I was 14 years old, we were shown three hours of continuous documentary footage of what precisely (!) happened in German concentration camps. The pictures never left my mind. Or my heart.

My first reaction to the latest news about the terrors in Charlottesville I saw on various media outlets over the last few days was utter disbelief and shock. Donald Trump’s nightmarish news conference yesterday and his ongoing insistence on being supportive of growing racist and anti-semitic hate groups leaves my heart throbbing with ache. Three people are dead and many more injured. A group of people surrounding Jalane Schmidt, organizer with the local Black Lives Matter movement and an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, had to stay in hiding inside of a church in order to keep themselves safe from white supremacist violence. Is this really happening? Does history really have to repeat itself? I know silence cannot be the answer. I have been battling with myself to post these thoughts, but I can’t stay quiet today. I am heartened to see that people from all walks of life are starting to speak up, that CEOs are leaving economic councils in the White House, and that Republicans are beginning to be more outspoken about the unspeakable behaviors displayed by the man who is supposed to lead this country.

But there is so much more that needs to happen, more words, more learning, more opening, more listening, more actions, more courage, and above all, more crumbling of the armors that hold those who hate in rigid cages.

Please, if there’s a god, please wake us up! Let us find where we are hurting so that we don’t have to hurt others anymore. Let us find compassion for ourselves so we can find compassion for our brothers and sisters. Let us heal ourselves so that humanity can heal. Let’s come together as brothers and sisters, not colors or belief systems. Let’s wake up before it is too late, again.


[First published 08-13-2017]


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