You know the adage, watch out what you ask for, you just might get it... that's my life. Yesterday I was writing about redemption and forgiveness and today I'm forced to ask myself what that means in the face of community violence...
I tend to think of myself as fairly neurotic, and don't get me wrong, I am... I tend to worry A LOT about stupid things. I stress about things I should feel good about and I am fairly insecure about things I should feel confident about. But I am not a bigot - and I don't understand what motivates someone to be so contemptuous that they become a racist.
I imagine that racism is motivated in part by the perception that you are entitled to something that appears to be taken away from you by someone else, and ignorance, fear and hatred and an inability to own one's own faults - with the need to project them onto others. And that's me... always trying to understand where the other person is coming from - to a fault sometimes. But what is the role of forgiveness in the face of all that... and reconciliation?
Yesterday, P and I were out for a walk - we've had gorgeous weather in New England and I feel particularly appreciative of it knowing that my family and friends are drowning in the Bay Area - and while we were walking we came across several pamphlets that had been thrown out in front of houses in our neighborhood. They were ultra-right wing pamphlets calling Bush a traitor for supporting immigration and specifically targeting Jews as "declaring war against White America" - how is it that in 2006, in surburban MA, that someone would feel justified and entitled to spread this racist, Anti-semitic garbage!!!
I hate living in New England! You just wouldn't get this kind of thing in San Francisco, where I come from... I don't know how to raise children in this kind of environment... I don't know how to be myself in a community where there is not Public OUTRAGE over such behavior!
and then there's Israel - I was just in Tel Aviv less that two weeks ago at a conference on Creative Approaches to dealing with Conflicts in Groups, and today on the front page of the NYTimes is the news that a suicide bomber killed 6 and wounded 35... I could have been standing there...I can't imagine living in a place where at any moment a bomb could wipe out my son, my daughter - and the Palestinians... what's it like to live in that land, to be a 40 year old mother raising sons in an occupied land...
my heart bleeds and weeps
can parenting and prayer
be action enough?