8 January 2022
Epiphany will never be the same for me. The Twelfth Day of Christmas, Three Kings Day, used to be the target date for putting away the holiday decorations and blessing the new year. Because of events on January 6, 2021, it will always now be the day this country crossed a line. Pushed over an invisible line of civility, sanity, and decorum, we became an even more fractured multitude of those who believe that the only way to get your way is to take it by force and those who are in complete shock that something like this could even happen. There can be no middle. Unless there is a concerted effort by those blinded by shock and those who believe “this too shall pass,” it won’t.
David McGrath, in a recent Chicago Tribune piece, “My resolution for 2022: Challenge the American obstinocracy with intelligence,” is committing to challenge “fire” with “judo.” We know that the underlying anger leading to those events last year was based on fear. Those who are angry about elections being stolen fear those who are becoming a more active part of democracy. Those who are angry about what might be scarring and scaring their children in schools fear that, if we learn about past injustices, we just might want to change the world.
Fear gains power through anger when it is fueled by hate. Hate gives violence legitimacy when the enemy is “the other.” The epiphany of what we saw is that the mentality of colonialists who trampled across the New World percolated to the surface that day. Kill what gets in the way of what you want. Convert those who don’t believe as you do. If they refuse, kill them, too. And, it’s all good, because you are doing it for the glory of your race, to bring back the greatness that has been lost.
Which “fear” will win in the end? I’m hopeful it’s the fear of hate that will be driven by intelligence.