The Mystery of Evil

Today, with the shootings in Arizona that took place yesterday, I have been ricocheted back to August of 1969. My friends and I had often marched for civil rights and against the war. On this day, a small group of my friends and I were commemorating the “Days of Rage” that occurred at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, one year before. Our arms were linked together as we sang peace songs in Grant Park, close to where the riots had taken place.

While we sang and swayed to the music, a group of Chicago policemen walked up to us and surrounded our little group. One officer stood about two feet from my face and stared into my eyes, while rhythmically beating his billy club on his boot. I could see the hatred in his eyes as he looked at me. Then, suddenly, they all marched away. Our group quickly dispersed.

At that point, my life changed. I had thought that protest against war and tyranny was a good thing. I still do. But I also realized that what I personally created during our little protest that day was a warlike being who was ready to beat my brains in, rather than the peace for which I strove. I had created evil, at the same time I sought peace.

For many years, I remained quiet because, in my mind, to participate in protests could indeed create more of what I was protesting against. In the past few years, I have found myself reacting strongly to the political rage being spewed over the radio and TV, and I often say my piece. I’ve posted anti-Teabag Party rhetoric on Facebook. The old anti-war, anti-violence blood has begun to boil again in me.

And then, yesterday, the Congresswoman was shot, the judge was killed and 18 others suffered death or injury. On one of the televised reports I watched, the sheriff of Tucson talked of the vitriol of the radio and tv personalities who continually spew hatred and call to violence.

And, I again realized that by my postings and by my own anti-Tea Party and anti-Republican spewings, I am again part of the creation of the problem.

I do not know the answer to this question: Can hatred be fought with opposition? Or does it just create more hatred, until innocent people get killed? I don’t know what to do because staying silent isn’t the answer either.

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About feistylynnie

I am a closet explorer of the weird, unusual and extraordinary sides of life, masquerading as a normal person. I play viola and violin in many styles including classical, blues, folk and disco. I am also a horse, donkey, cat and dog lover and total geek.
This entry was posted in Arizona massacre, Chicago 1968 Convention, Congresswoman, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, protest, self-responsibility, shooting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Mystery of Evil

  1. Kim W. says:

    It’s a good question you ask about opposition. I became interested in the Coffee Party movement when it formed last year. A friend of mine decided to form a local chapter and also formed a Facebook page for it. Lots of people joined. The whole idea was to promote civil discourse, to be the literal opposite of the Tea Party…not necessarily by politics but in the method by which people involved themselves — basically, the whole idea was to promote respectful dialogue, regardless of personal politics, to try to rationally find some common ground instead of demonizing people.

    Of course, Tea Partiers came and acted like trolls, and when we tried to hear them out, they spewed lots of contemptuous rhetoric. Angry progressives fired back, and when we tried to remind everyone that the idea of civil discourse was paramount, people who I actually share political beliefs with — progressives — got incensed and said that we need to start fighting back or we won’t be taken seriously. When I stuck to my guns and called one of the more vocal liberal progressive members out on his vitriol, he turned around and accused me of being a Tea Party plant. I learned a very important lesson about people’s need to demonize others and make things black and white, us vs. them, rather than having the patience and rationality to wade through a maze of greys and uncertainty. The discomfort of other progressives/liberals with my willingness to try to hear the Tea Partiers out was just too much for them. In their mind, I just couldn’t be on their side.

    I do understand their frustration with the other side of the political spectrum; I’ve certainly ranted enough about it myself at times, but it was very sad and discouraging to really be trying to put my money where my mouth is on the idea of inclusive dialogue and be pilloried by my political cohort.

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