January 17, 2021-
In the turbulence of the late 1960s, people in cities like New Haven, CT, Seattle, Minneapolis and San Diego could be heard saying, with regard to racial unrest, “It can’t happen here.” The notion was that because there were leading segments of the community which were liberal and practiced a measure of enlightenment, that the city would be free of strife. Nonetheless, violence did occur in each of those cities, in the 1960s-as well as last year, when Minneapolis found itself answering for homegrown practices of race-based imbalance.
There is a flip side of this, which a balanced society would do well to heed. Those who follow a philosophy of social traditionalism, religious fundamentalism and individualism have found themselves, thanks in large part to the excesses of January 6, as somewhat on the outs with a broad segment of American society.
They must not remain ostracized in perpetuity. Those who merely express a longing for things as they once were, without advocating violent overthrow of our government, are likely to accept changes which they can understand, and which don’t feed their worst fears. I am seeing friends, with whom I have profound philosophical differences, finally taking the stance of “wait and see”, with regard to the next administration.
One of the alternatives would see reasonable people pushed into a corner-and like the people of colour who were pushed, consistently, beyond their limits, those who see their points of view denigrated and their very being constantly castigated would, in due time, lash out in far more deadly ways than we saw on January 6.
I have held the same view, regarding people of colour, since I was a child. If God didn’t want diversity among human beings, He’d have made us all uniform. So, in order for “it” to not keep happening, social strife coming from “parting on the right”, then, yes, enforce justice towards those who both fomented and carried out the violence of Epiphany Day, and any other violence that may happen this week. Otherwise, let’s listen, reassure and counsel patience, with those expressing fear that the rest of us regard as unfounded. Let us encourage giving the new President a chance-as many of us did with those angry at the results of the election of 2016-and at every election since 2000.
It must not happen here- again.