The flier reads: “Join us, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a rally and cross lighting, Saturday, May 26, Harmony, North Carolina. Free Admition (sic)-White People Only. No alcohol, drugs, fighting, glass bottles or weapons. Free on site camping-all major motels in area. Souvenirs. Vendors. Food and beverages for Sale. Cross lighting at dusk-a white unity event. Live country band. Security provided by LWK.”
My home state has been making a total ass of itself lately. I guess this hate rally could have been inspired by recent news that minorities are gaining on the white majority. The haters are scared to death that they won’t be able to “take back” the country. Please believe me, America, most of the residents of NC are not ignorant racists. My state has been infected by the same virus that’s been sweeping the nation. Misplaced anger and hatred due to economic instability and uncertainty for the future causes the dumb-asses among us to lash out against the “other.” Black people, “muslins,” foreigners and gays must be to blame. It’s embarrassing and I am sick of being ashamed to be from NC. Ashamed of the whole country right now, to tell the truth. Guess that makes me un-American.
Every election season, I get depressed. Watching negative political ads on TV, arguing with friends and relatives, feeling like nothing will ever really change…it makes me want to disengage from the whole thing. After Obama was elected, I knew there would be a big wave of racist anger. Sure enough, it has continued unabated. It seems to be getting worse, especially since Romney doesn’t look like much competition.
In the long run, the country will evolve and become a more tolerant place. I hope. I think of it as an overgrown forest. The weeds and debris crowd the forest floor and chokes out new growth. Eventually a lightning strike or a careless camper sparks a fire that burns hot and hungry, engulfing the dense underbrush. The fire burns hot and fast, as the old, dry growth feeds the flames. Eventually, however, the fire dies down, embers cool slowly, ash is all that remains among the tall trees that survived the destruction.
The blackened floor is warmed by sunlight as the ashes provide nourishment for the grasses and seeds that lay dormant deep underground. Uncluttered and fresh, the forest floor gradually attracts birds and creatures to the sweet new growth.
Though time moves too slowly for me, I choose to believe that eventually the weeds will be burned away. Weeds are notoriously hard to get rid of. We must relentlessly pull them up by their roots and plant new things to take their place. In my home, I have planted the seeds of inclusion, love, tolerance and acceptance of others. My children always root for the underdog. The fires are burning, the weeds are being consumed. It is only a matter of time.