Hate and righteousness are in the eye of the beholder. be careful what side you are on.
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' As you hate the haters
do you not realize
that you have become
the very thing
that you despise? '
~ ki ~
Charlottesville, Virginia AUGUST 2017
There have been uncountable meetings of the Haters, taking place innumerable times, at pretty much any and every place imaginable.
What just happened in Virginia is just another occurrence, much like the last, and undoubtedly like all too many to come to your town soon, brought to you by .... the 'Haters'. Everyone is so sure that they know exactly who those people are. You know who they mean. 'Those people'. The ones who disagree with us. I mean, how could they? Don't they know that we know exactly what is needed today? You know, to fix everything. To make the world a better place. You do know that, don't you? If not, then that must mean that you hate me, because there is just no other reason for anyone to not agree with me.
That, unfortunately, is the way too many people view our world today. If you don't agree with me, and if you don't understand what I am trying to accomplish, then there is something wrong with YOU. They bear no responsibility to explain their position, if they even have one, and they certainly have no intention of wasting their time trying to convince you that their position has any validity whatsoever. If you can't see that they want to save the world, then you must be crazy. You're not rational. You must HATE them! And therefore, to quote any five-year-old, in any playground, in any country, during the last millennia, the response is then ' I HATE you more '.
Have you ever wanted to cry so hard, or laugh so loud, then when you see what people are doing, every day, all across this country, and this world, in the name of LOVE, and TOLERANCE, and DIVERSITY? I do not really accept the concept of the ' DEVIL ' in any shape or form, and yet, almost daily, I cannot understand the things that people do, and then the rationalizations that they attempt to use as proof, of their character and integrity, and the ' righteousness ' of their actions. If ever there is the work of the devil happening in our lives, then the actions of these ' HATERS ' absolutely fills the bill and is proof positive that the devil does indeed exist, and ..... he is US!
Now, maybe I really don't understand. I guess it IS possible, that these people are wrong. You know, the ones in Virginia. It is just that I am having problems determining exactly who ' THOSE ' people are. And exactly ' who ' is wrong. And you know what? It has been glaringly obvious from the start just who instigated the issue.
Let’s try to make this as simple as possible. We have a group of people who are pretty disappointed that someone they admired, whether deserving or not, is being disrespected. Their heritage is being called into question, and they are not being given a chance to voice their concerns. Does this sound familiar, in any way, shape, or form, to you? My first reaction, not even knowing what the issue actually was, is to think that they have the right to present their position, their opinion, in an open forum. For any and all to hear, if they so choose. I passionately love this country, and I am eternally grateful that we have this right to speak our minds that we call freedom of speech. But I also acknowledge both the right AND the obligation that this right demands. There is also something that is inarguably linked to this freedom of speech thing and that is MY right to LISTEN. I am more than capable of making my own decisions and interpreting their comments, and I strongly resent anyone that denies me that right. These counter-protests take away that right. They disallow opinion. They disallow information. They disallow freedom. They do NOT believe in fairness or freedom of speech. They do NOT believe in the concept of America. They have been, are today, and will continue to be wrong with their actions, in every instance. This is not a matter of debate or opinion. A freedom either exists or it doesn’t. There can be no exceptions. That is the definition of equality.
And what of these protesters that disagree with this particular 'speech'? They possess the right, and the choice, to listen, to ignore, or to walk away, and that is their personal decision. But they also have a right to their own freedom of speech, and that right should be inviolate as well. But it should be on another day, and at another venue. At a time and place where they too can express their thoughts, and their feelings, in the knowledge that they can express that right in a way of their own choosing. Then people can decide if they wish to listen. Or not. And to watch, or walk away. What is NOT their choice is to prevent those ' others ', for whatever reason, to have the ability to exercise THEIR freedom of speech. YOUR freedom of speech DOES NOT, and never will, give you the right to stifle, or censor, another’s individual right to speak their mind. Yes, you do have that freedom yourself, and you should be proud to live in a country that recognizes such a right. It is a rare thing indeed, and even today, there are millions of citizens, of countries near and far, that have yet to experience such a benefit in life. Freedom of speech allows the battle of ideas to continue, with each individual the final arbiter of his own thoughts and the creator of his own eventual position on any particular issue. When these protesters deny freedom of speech, they steal from me, and from everyone, the right to make those decisions. I refuse to be complicit in the dissolution of one of the greatest gifts a country can bestow on its citizens. The right to be heard. The right to speak.
If only the ' HATERS ' could accept that. But they never will. A ' HATER ' is as a ' HATER ' does. And unfortunately, that probably will always be the case. We need to take control back from these groups who do not believe in freedom. Our problem does not lie with these black and white groups that profess the need for their own brand of equality. It is with the hate that resides in the hearts and minds of many of the individuals within these groups. They do not want us to decide for ourselves. They want to tell us what to do, what to think, what to believe. They want nothing less than compliance with their ideologies and agendas. They seek nothing less than total control.
There is something that exists today, that could possibly bring clarity to the issue, but it is becoming rarer with each passing day. It can bring understanding, even when it does nothing to bring about an agreement, or even compromise. There may be no meeting of the minds if that were even possible. It is a trite saying, but the only thing possible is to ' agree to disagree '. Philosophy allows that to actually be a working theory. That we can disagree and yet allow each other to exist on their own terms, with our constitution, and our laws, as the only arbiter. There is no other alternative. And yet, that seems to be only a dream, since for that eventuality to become reality, it will take integrity, and character, and something that is displayed as a banner of pride for many today, and that is the virtue of tolerance. But what of this tolerance? It seems that these people who preach tolerance will simply not tolerate such a reality.
True tolerance, not to mention the little inconvenience known as freedom of speech, should have demanded that these people, again, whether right or wrong, to be allowed to speak their mind, walk their walk, say their peace, walk some more, and go home to contemplate their positions, and the alternatives. People need to LISTEN to what they have to say, take the time to reflect on their words, and ultimately decide on their own positions, and more importantly, to decide WHY they believe what they have decided. I have seen many demonstrations over the last few years, and for decades before that, where the demonstrations included, by design, major destruction of both public and private property, often in their own neighborhoods, not to mention the burning of cars, including police vehicles. The throwing of bricks and bottles, the beating of innocent bystanders, whose only fault was to be in the wrong place at a definitely wrong time. And ultimately, as it is inevitable, the loss of human life. Such a waste, and yet it happens all too often. And so it was in Virginia. Is this what we call freedom? Is this how we listen to contrary opinions? Is this the way we demonstrate the strength that is America? Not in my reality.
And where is there a voice of reason to address these protesters? Who has the courage in our media to stand up and ask the questions? Not a one! Does the state capitol have the answer? It does not. Do our representatives in Washington have the resolve and integrity to address the issue of freedom for all? Where have you been? Not a chance of the proverbial snowball in hell. A woman lost her life, and others hang in the balance. Two police officers died in relation to the situation. All could be alive today, if only ...... they gave a counter-demonstration, and no one came to hate. If only they fought with words and reason, instead of hatred and violence. I understand the frustrations. I cannot accept the ignorance.
And that is what these so-called white supremacists did. Right or wrong, they came to air their grievances. They came to voice their anger. They came to vent their frustrations. They may have come to give voice to their own special flavor of hate, and they felt it was their right to do so. And to be brutally honest, they do have that right. And for me to someday exercise my own brand of freedom of speech, it is IMPERATIVE that today we allow them their day in the sun to do so as well. And so it came to be. But there was no evidence that they came to destroy. There were no bricks and bottles. There was no pulling of innocent motorists from their cars and beaten to an inch of death, or beyond. No flaming automobiles. Or buildings. And yet they are being branded the haters.
Please, do not for a second think that there is any support here for either group. I have no kinship with the Confederacy. Their fight is certainly not my fight. Their goals and ideals have never held any interest for me. In fact, there is not much that I can agree with as to their whole mindset. And yet ..... I love America. I love this country. It is, without question, the greatest country that has ever existed in the history of mankind. But for freedom to work, every single citizen, as an individual, simply HAS to grant to anyone and everyone the right to live their lives as they see fit. Without that thing I mentioned, what was it? Oh yeah, that thing called Tolerance. It has been, is, and will continue to be completely impossible to ever live together in peace without it. Tolerance is not something that you grant to those that agree with you and think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Because you are not. Unless you grant that thing called tolerance specifically to those that you probably do not understand and completely disagree with. And there is something extremely fundamental here. If you decide to NOT grant those ' other ' people that right I mentioned, the freedom to make their own decisions about their own lives and families, then how can you ever expect them to do the same for you? You destroy your own rights as you negate the rights of others. If you bestow no rights, you shall receive none in return. The result? Virginia is a prime example. I am sure you can think of many other instances without any assistance.
So who was responsible for the conflict in Virginia? An extremely strong case could be made that it was those Haters that came with the express purpose to hate the Haters. Without their presence, and participation, there would have been no loss of life. The media and the majority of people who may have heard them would have dismissed them, and life would have continued to go on. The tragic result of their actions and this is highly ironic, is that they came to disrupt and prevent these confederate supremacists from spreading their word and convincing any new converts, and yet their actions on that day were the greatest recruiting tool that those people could have ever hoped for. It was an exclamation point to the fact that they are under siege and will be given no quarter. The counter-protesters ensured on that day that someday, somewhere, someone else will die, and it will be, in part, directly related to their actions on that day, and they will bear responsibility for that eventuality. And as a side note to my side note, are these demonstrators not the same people that decry the killing of terrorists since that will simply create new recruits against our cause? I fail to see how their actions do not guarantee a like result. Go figure. Which is why I promote thinking, and philosophy. It is a simple relationship between cause and effect. Can they not see that? Do they not realize they fight, and defeat, themselves more than their perceived enemies?
And please remember a simple fact. The original 'event' was in large part to protest the destruction of historical statuary, being done systematically and arbitrarily throughout not only the south but the entire country. This is Revisionism at its worst. Do we allow prejudiced individuals, placed in a position of responsibility and power, the ability and authority to destroy historical monuments? In many cases, these representatives serve but for a few years, and yet seem to have little or no obligations or restrictions to the population as a whole. When did it become the purview of such a ridiculously small number of partisan local officials, often in a small group of only six or eight people, to make such momentous decisions? This is blatant political corruption. Is there no system of checks and balances to protect regional heritage? I do not see how they have the right to do such things without the consent of the citizens who have lived there a lifetime. I personally do not even care about the actual icons, and yet passionately disagree with the wanton disrespect paid to the citizenry. If the people vote to do such a thing, then so be it. I would still think it is wrong, but the will of the people should be a determining factor. Where was the debate? Where was the vote? Where was the freedom? Destroying artwork will always be the antithesis to a country based on the concepts of freedoms. Were there no alternatives? Could they not be removed to a park where they would be welcomed, or even to private property? Was destruction the only course? It does not bode well when the political representatives are examples of the very same seething hatred that is all too evident on the streets of America as we speak.
The Haters went home, but they will be back. In force. More freedoms will be destroyed. More lives will be lost. There will be no debate. There will be no negotiations. There will be no quarter given. But there WILL be lives lost. Many lives. Indiscriminate. Unnecessary. The use of reason will be waived. The use of reason will be damned. And if there is one thing that I know, with the same certainty and confidence that I have that Tomorrow Will Never Come, it is that they are destroying America, and this is not by accident. The Haters are winning, and you and I are the only ones that can stop them.
We are witnessing a murder.
The death of the American Dream.