Whether you’re a hard line law and order hawk or a bleeding heart liberal I hope we can find some common ground here: The people attacking our communities are assholes.
This is not about politics – it’s not even about race, it’s common sense, and in our heart of hearts I believe we all know it. We all know them. They are our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins.
They’re the ones who make us cringe when they show up late to the reunion, flying high on God-knows-what, spouting off about how someone else is to blame for every bad break in their lives, and spoiling for a fight. We hope our kids have the good sense to steer clear of them.
They’re the ones we worry about all time, but aren’t surprised when we hear of a brush with the law. We say prayers for them, hope they’ll learn a lesson and settle down, stop being so angry.
Now we have “leaders” piling up hay and lighting fires saying it’s all being done by ANTIFA or roving bands of white-supremacist Boogaloo Boys. Clearly there are some who seek to hijack peaceful protests and sow chaos for their own ends, but these agitators are a tiny minority.
They DO NOT represent most people on either side of the political divide. They don’t represent the views of the majority of protesters, and they are, I’m convinced, overwhelmingly outnumbered by the ones doing most of the damage, the garden variety ne’er-do-wells we all sadly know and love.
It’s tempting and probably comforting to pin the troubles on out-of-towners, paid activists, and anarchists, but if we’re honest we know it’s bad eggs and habitual criminals, mostly local, who barely restrain their anti-social behavior even in normal times, taking advantage of the situation. Opportunists. Assholes.
In this dark night of our country’s soul when, more than anything, we need to unite around an inspiring vision for renewal, please don’t heed those voices fanning the flames of hatred, loudly demonizing the other, spinning more and more conspiracy theories and calling for us to divide into warring camps. Instead let’s please unite against the true enemy.
I fear for our nation. I fear that the assholes are winning.