Hate has no place in America and being “united” as in the United States to me lately seems like a forgone dream that perhaps never existed.
What happened recently in Charlottesville, Va., should send a chill up all our spines. The rally took place under the guise of protesting the removal of a statue of Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee. The chants of “Jews will not replace us,” at the outset of the march should alarm each of us, and we should be spending our waking hours trying to figure out how to combat such blatant disregard for another group of people who share our space, our air and our love of country.
Several years ago, I was assigned to cover a Klu Klux Klan rally in Nahunta, Ga., roughly an hour’s drive from Liberty County. These misguided men and woman shouted their rhetoric of hate for nearly an hour as a racially mixed group stood and listened.
The sad part is this group’s hate speech is not relegated to one particular group or individual. Their hate towards our fellow men and women because of the color of their skin or ethnicity knows no bounds, except perhaps for one: That’s when one of these men and women who spew hate needs a blood transfusion to save their life, or a kidney, a heart, a liver or whatever it is to see another day, I can just about guarantee they won’t be asking the ethnicity of the donor.
This week the NAACP held a peace initiative on the steps of the court house in Hinesville in the hope that what occurred in Charlottesville doesn’t creep into our community.
I’m guessing the gathering was attended by approximately 60 citizens of Liberty County, all concerned about the nation’s festering racial divide.
The numbers should have been bigger, and hopefully more folks will attend the NAACP;s “community mass meeting” to discuss race, religion and politics at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27 at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
While I’m sure the NAACP needs no advice from me, I’m going to offer it anyway and suggest they leave politics out of the mix. If we expect a moral compass from our leaders at the local and national level, forget it.
Our moral compass should come from the heart, and not the mouth of a politician who for the most part gauges the wind and goes in that direction.
Maybe it’s time for our clergy here in Liberty County to take their congregations, and instead of holding individual services, hold one mass service regardless of denomination in Bryant Park and spread the message of tolerance towards our fellow citizens. While we have not experienced in Liberty County what Charlottesville went through recently, we are only an hour’s drive away from Nahunta.
Levine is a longtime Courier correspondent.