The events in Charlottesville, Va., are squarely in the realm of horrific, heinous and reprehensible.
If you’ve been living under a rock, essentially, a rally by white supremacists, which was counter-rallied by another group, ended up in violence — a vehicle plowing into a crowd and causing the death of a protester.
There have been recriminations on every side, there has been advocates of free speech decrying attempts at censorship, and there have been overwhelming amounts of questions regarding who’s responsible for something like this.
Of course, pretty much all you’re hearing about is how the national press deem the statements from President Donald Trump inadequate, because he didn’t denounce the neo-Nazis or KKK, opting to spread a large blanket of blame on everybody involved.
The rally started, according to news reports, with a plan by Charlottesville city fathers to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in the city. This was followed by protesters in Durham, N.C., toppling a statue of a Confederate soldier, all the while cursing it and making obscene gestures.
I’m not here to cast aspersions at the president, nor will I pick a side in these antics, save to say that I will always champion free speech, and people are allowed to be jackwagons as long as they’re not hurting anyone.
And while there’s certainly something to be said for the preservation of history, and that removing historical monuments is tantamount to erasing history (good or bad, history is history), that’s not what’s puzzling here.
My questions are: where is this type of behavior going? What’s the end game? Why are you behaving this way?
And, will removing statues and fighting people with differing opinions solve the problem?
At the end of the day, we’re responsible for our behavior, as it sets examples for others and can make the difference between an altercation or a discussion.
In Madisonville earlier this month, people of all stripes, faiths and political persuasions got together, not to fight, not to beat people over the head with opinion, but to pray for the nation, for our leaders at every level, for our children.
Even if a discussion were to crop up, it would be dealt with in a sedate and adult manner.
That’s the way to deal with problems, wouldn’t you say? And the end result would be people actually getting along, respectfully, and solving problems to everyone’s benefit.
It’s the pebble in the ocean which can lead to a tidal wave of change, the right example for people.
Toppling statues accomplished what? Graffiti on monuments solved what? Arguments and recriminations got what results? From the looks of it, all it accomplished was homicide, destruction of property, and a polarized population.
So here’s another question: What if all the energy spent in all the arguments, rallies, fighting, sniping, snarking and every other action designed to pull us apart were actually spent in finding solutions? What if we spent our time looking for common ground that lasts centuries instead of the instant gratification that comes with making obscene gestures to inanimate objects.
What if we approached our issues with love in our hearts, instead of hate, the desire to be right at all costs?
The end result of that is easy to see.
Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.