Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in the world,
but has not solved one yet.
When I saw a picture of that T-shirt, I got sick to my stomach.
You know the one – it has just six words on it, including words that mean “a hefty string,” “a tall plant that gives shade,” and “people who report the news for a living.” It also includes vague instructions about putting it together by yourself.*
I had to use those descriptions and words because I don’t want my blog post to come up in a Google search. I can’t be associated in any way with a garment or sentiment so malicious and ugly, designed and made on purpose, and then sold for real dollars to a real person who chose to wear it in public.
Good golly, Miss Molly.
But what made that image so unsettling?
I can think of only one thing. The cruel act of lynching is tied to the ugliest behavior and beliefs ever witnessed or practiced in our country’s history. A time we recall and hang our heads in shame.
So, especially in this season, when the news drips with stories that include racial conflict and acts of violence, why dredge up something so painful and so hate-filled?
How, in the middle of a campaign year already brimming over with half-truths and caustic accusations, could anyone find humor – in even its darkest form – in an act so heinous?
(And, if you believe the past is the past, the last reported lynching took place in 1981.)
But I take comfort in the fact that most everyone I know and you know would be equally appalled.
I am inspired by those around me who show compassion and trust everyday in every way, and I am encouraged by simple acts of kindness witnessed everywhere.
So, as I write and you read these words that turn from outrage to peace, I pray we find all the goodness in the world we can, share it with wild abandon, and live out these words:
I’m convinced of this:
Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.
(With thanks to Michelle Obama for going high.)
*If you really don’t know what I’m talking about, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll send you a link. I can’t even put it on my page. I just can’t.