I attended an interfaith panel meeting last week to discuss the question “Who is my Neighbor?” The panel included a Rabbi, a Muslim Cleric, a Catholic Priest, a non-denominational Christian Pastor, a Baha’i leader, and a Pastor from an African-American Baptist Church. A pretty diverse group.
It was interesting to hear how these people described “a neighbor” as it pertained to their beliefs and faith. The common thread? We are all neighbors despite our differences, at least we should be.
As you would imagine the conversation traveled into today’s tribal mentality. The question was posed to the panel, “are any of you concerned that racist, sexist, homophobes, xenophobes and religious bigots now feel empowered to speak their minds?”. After a few moments of silence the Rabbi, a young man, said; “In order to clean a stain we first have to see the stain.”
As hard as it is to believe I tell my kids that a Donald Trump presidency was probably the best thing that ever happened to America. Barack Obama showed us the possibilities, and Trump, well, Trump has shown us just how far we still have to go. What Trump has accomplished in two short years has made it easier for the rest of us to see all the “stains” that still blemish this great country. And it’s not just the racist, sexist, homophobes, xenophobes and religious bigots that are being exposed but also the powerful, the privileged, and the old white establishment. We all knew that the Trumps still existed hiding behind the gates of Mar-a-Lago, marching in the street wearing Nazi and Klan emblems, stockpiling weapons to assassinate democrats and journalist and now we can see them.
You see, the Donald Trump’s of the world weren’t a symptom but the disease that have held to many other Americans down for too many centuries. I can promise you, when this is all over, Donald Trump and his family will rue the day he was ever elected President. Future generations and history will view him, and Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham, and Ryan Zinke, and Jim Jordan, and Scott Pruitt, and…………. as the privileged white men willing to stain this country in order to fill their bank accounts. Judgement day is here and hopefully we will all be smart enough NOT to forget the lessons we have learned from this misadventure.