I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this idea over the last few days. Ever since the fighting broke out in Virginia, I’ve wondered how our government would react. After all, the true test of our character, of our ability to lead and to learn, comes when we are pressured to react.
And, unfortunately, this president reacted exactly as I feared he would. Rather than denounce, he waffled, likely worrying about potential waning support from a group that bolstered him into the White House, while at the same time preaching hatred and violence for those deemed to be different.
If this country believes in the importance of standing united, than those with the loudest and most diverse voices must band together to show what true leadership means. In our own lives, we have to be strong for those we serve, both in work and in our families, and help them to understand what is happening, why it is happening, and what that means for the present and the future.
I still think we can come together. It will take work, but all important things do. What I worry about is whether we can come together with the current leadership we have in place. Are we able to act as one country when our central leadership believes that to stay popular and to provide for future opportunities, groups that don’t want to work together should be allowed to spit hate and incite violence?
This country has a history of treating those that are different as if those differences are insurmountable. And yet, we’ve found ways to come closer together than we have in the past. The unknown is whether what is happening today will follow the same cycle, and somehow, bring our nation closer to being united, or whether this event will be one of the straws to break the nation’s back.