A Crucial Moment In Time


"Bigotry is the disease of ignorance..." - Thomas Jefferson

Saturday morning my daughter and I sat on a park bench watching Andrew play on the playground.

Rain drops fell intermittently. But Andrew loves trains and going to the park, so we ignored them and sipped our coffee.

 

I recall sitting there thinking how funny it was that all these little boys wanted to play on the red train. Like bees to honey.

But then, little boys and trains just seem to go together somehow.

When my daughter dropped me off at home, I went inside and turned on my TV to a news channel. And saw with horror what was happening in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Probably like most Americans, I watched in shock as men carrying torches and violence in their hearts attacked people they didn't even know.

From what I understand, the Alt Right movement is primarily the quest of young white men who, for whatever reason, feel like they've gotten the short end of the stick. They weren't born with hate in their hearts. 

Once upon a time they also were little boys playing in the park. Before they grew up to believe that violence was somehow acceptable.

I googled "Alt right movement" and found this... 

"Previously an obscure subculture, the alt-right burst onto the national political scene in 2015. Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore." 

The source for that information was Breitbart News, a far-right opinion and commentary website founded in 2007 by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart. It was one of the top sites that came up when I googled Alt Right.


After watching much of the news on that day, I really wanted to erase time and go back to those innocuous few hours on the playground. 

Back to that wooden park bench where I sat drinking iced coffee and watched Andrew doing what little boys do.

He does not yet understand what hate is. And I hope he doesn't find out any time soon. 

I truly do hope that Saturday, August 12, 2017 is the beginning of something profound in America. 

That we as citizens fight back hard in whatever way we can against agitators like those in Charlottesville. People that converged upon a lovely town with hate in their hearts. And left with blood on their hands.


Hatred and bigotry should not be able to walk the street with guns in tow holding shields and embracing an ideology that promotes domestic terrorism. 

It helps no one. But harms everyone.

 Charlottesville, VA August 12, 2017


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34 comments

  1. Beautifully written Brenda. I sat in church Sunday morning with my sweet Grands who only know Love and felt so sad for our country.

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  2. I taught the littles, preschool through first grade for many years and they all played happily together, just like Andrew and his friends at the park. They only saw friends...and by the way, he looks just like you! Adorable!

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  3. Thank tRump for stirring the pot of hate. He called upone these very people to help him bully and cheat his way into the White House. Ironically, these are also the people he will hurt as he tears down America. There is a great anger spreading its way across America and apparently more hate filled people willing to take it to the streets, looking for somebody to take it out on. Makes my heart sad.

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  4. Hi Brenda, your little Andrew is such a precious little guy, so vulnerable, so malleable at that age. Time with his family is so important to keep kiddos grounded and on track. Breitbart isn't the place to look for explanations and unbiased explanations for the Alt Right movement, as they are one of the main protaganists and support groups for all this far right thinking. They are one of the original platforms for the disgrace and junk going on in Charlottesville.

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    1. I used Breitbart News because of the evil they stand for.

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  5. Children are born into the world with no knowledge of hate. It is taught. Shame on parents who teach the evil of prejudice. I would be mortified if my children turned into such scum as those nazis. So much so that I would disown them. I live in the south and I'm afraid.

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  6. I just really agree with you and applaud you for writing this.

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  7. If Kim thinks she can blame President Trump for the hate in our country, she needs to think again. That is the most ridiculous statement I've ever read. I voted for President Trump and while I don't agree with what these young men believe in I do believe in their right to speak. The fact that they are willing to show everyone just how misguided they are is their privilege. If what I heard on the news is correct the trouble started when another group came there and showed their ignorance too. I didn't like it when Hillary Clinton called us a basketful of deplorables and I don't like being accused of helping someone to bully and cheat to win an election.

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    1. Surely you don't equate the two groups. At any rate, everyone has a right to their own opinion.

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    2. Claire, Hundreds of white supremacists threatening to burn a small group of activists with tiki torches on the UVA lawn Friday night and mowing down and murdering 1 and maiming innocents does not deserve the right of freedom of speech. They are terrorists.

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  8. seemingly 'freedom of speech' has actually turned into freedom to openly hate and harm others these days.
    it's frightening and sickening.
    our civilization is going backward rather than forward. what on earth did all the wars teach us?
    and...
    that Andrew of yours is so adorable Brenda. and yes. he looks like you so much!
    his beautiful innocence and the enjoyment of his simple little pleasures... it helps us to endure the ugliness of the hatred we see otherwise. bless all the children inheriting this mess.

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  9. It would just be really nice to have a leader who would inspire goodness, tolerance and nonviolent means to express ourselves and solve problems. I love the Maya Angelou quote - so true! Andrew is so sweet, I always love seeing pictures of him.

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  10. So sad that Kim is so full of hate for President Trump. I voted for him and don't think he bullied any more than our other choice, Hillary. He certainly did not cheat his way into the White House-he won it fairly according to the law.You will see that he will help America and Americans during his presidency.

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  11. It's a fact of life that no leader can satisfy everyone.. but yes both groups are equally at fault. The majority of Americans don't understand how these groups of people think. And I'm so thankful for that.

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  12. Andrew is adorable! Right at that age where he still has the very-young-cuteness, but is getting to look like a little boy instead of a baby, if that makes sense? It melts my heart!

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  13. So true!! It seems the "good" people are dying faster than the "bad" people--the future is scary!

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  14. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been a divided nation for many years now. My husband has been saying for years that the division will cause another Civil War. I also believe it hasn't helped that we have turned our backs on the Creator of the universe.

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  15. Oh, that dear little boy! He does indeed look like you.

    Your words are so poignant, Brenda. Living in Virginia, not too awfully far from C'ville, I can tell you our hearts are broken. That this beautiful, historical, college town has been so marred by hatefulness is just sickening.

    Claire, I respect your opinion, but I don't believe the group protesting the hate "showed their ignorance". On the contrary, I think they wanted to demonstrate that hate was not welcome here and that's not ignorant. I don't entirely blame Trump, but I do think he's given hate groups a license to do evil. And that's MY opinion. ;-) Let's be kind to one another. We're all we've got.

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  16. Brenda,

    Thank you for your post. Your grandson is beautiful and to be cherished. Hopefully he will not know the hate that is in the world today.

    My husband was a counter protestor in Charlottesville and I couldn't be more proud of him as he stood for what we believe in for where our daughter lives and works. The news doesn't show the clergy, middle aged and elderly who were also part of the counter protest. The people of Cville are strong.

    Other stories to mention are:

    Deandre Harris who was ruthlessly beaten in the parking garage on Saturday. Evil permeates from these white supremisist terrorists. Fortunately, they will be identified through social media.

    Jason Kessler's news conference that was a failure on Sunday. I applaud the woman who took him down at the end. She is my hero. The picture of her shows determination and such bravery to take a flying leap like she did.

    Kudos to Airbnb and GoDaddy for sticking to their policies.

    I think it is an upside down world that hopefully will turn soon. Not sure how much we can all take but we will keep fighting for the cause of no hatred.

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    1. I appreciate the strength and clarity of your facts in the face of a lot of emotionally driven reactions. The truth matters and our current President is psychologically and morally unfit to lead our country. This has become obvious to majority of our nation. No, our problems did not 'start' with Trump (who said this?!). Yes we've had racial divide for years....which I might add, was actually made worse by the 'birtherism' movement led by Donald Trump and directed at our first black President--- however... The truth is that Donald Trump is NOT a leader with moral character and and deep wisdom that our country desperately needs right now. People who can't read or listen objectively to these kind of concerns about our President--even in comments on this post--are part of the problem. I really believe we need to put our the good of our country before our politics. By the way---thank you Blue Cottage for your comment on my blog too. :)
      xo
      Leslie

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  17. oh, Brenda- I'm struggling with a post on this very thing. Well said, Brenda. Ugh, what a mess.. and for what? :-(

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  18. Seeing Andrew at the park at this age reminded me of my grandson a few years ago :)

    And back then Barack Obama was our president and I didn't live in shock, awe and fear every day . Nor did I feel a cringing, a national embarrassment sort of feeling on behalf of our country before the world.

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  19. Brenda, Well written. Maya Angelou's quote says it all, Hate causes a lot of problems and never solves one. So very sad.

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  20. That poor beautiful young woman who died while fighting for others against injustice. Bless her and all who fight fearlessly for peace.

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  21. So well said, Brenda. With tears in my eyes I say "amen" to everything you have written here. I so understand your feelings for wishing you could rewind back to the moments on the playground bench.
    The collage near the end of your post made it all hit home. So very tragic to think of those who lost their lives and were injured on this sad day.

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  22. I am a very conservative Christian (hide the children) and have friends and with which I disagree. We are respectful of each other and the differing opinions we have.
    There is hate on both sides. There is a concerted effort to destroy this country.
    This is your blog and you can write whatever you want to write. You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. It is very disappointing to be called names based on my opinions and to be accused of helping someone to illegally hold the office of the president of the United States.
    After reading this post and most of the comments, I have decided my time is better spent on other endeavors.
    I will continue to pray for out great nation and ask the true and living God to have mercy on our nation.
    Blessings to you.

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  23. Very well said, Brenda. Many of us are looking at the lives of our little ones...what a world is is now, so hard to grapple with. And what will our children and grandchildren be up against?

    As former President Obama said..."hate is learned, and so can love.." Let's pray for that.

    Jane x

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  24. Say what anyone wants but their is actual footage of Trump encouraging and endorsing violence at his campaign rallies... which never seem to end. Both groups are not wrong here and the group in the wrong is the alt right marching in their preppy khaki shorts and white polo shirts I.e. Trump's golf uniform while these young men brandished their tiki torches either borrowed from their moms patios or purchased at Home Depot. These delusional white youth somehow feel slighted like they did not get their share of the pie. To them I say get a job... move if you have to... get a job... get trained in something and quit whining and help make America great again! Trump has blood on his hands since his tacit approval of these alt right groups have crawled out from under rocks and think somehow they are approved of... beyond the law. We have to take our country back and God willing Robert Mueller will help us do that with his investigation into Russia's collusion in our election. God save America !

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  25. Brenda, I applaud you for taking on a very painful and difficult national issue. I respect the rights of all to speak their opinion. Thoughtful and free speech is NOT what the alt right practices. I believe that Mr. Trump missed an opportunity to be truly Presidential when he did not immediately speak out strongly against white supremacy, civil terrorism, and all the other atrocities we saw on Saturday. I agree with others who have said that his failure to do so evidences his knowledge that many of these folks constitute his voter base and his fear of losing his base.
    We are a better country than this; I am ashamed to my core and truly asking myself when and where I lack the courage to speak up and stand up for what is right.

    Kudos to you, Brenda, and many others who are taking a stand online.

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  26. There are 1500 "confederate symbols" in in the South, they are part of our history. They are part of slavery, and the Civil war, a sad time in our history. But we have to stop the VIOLENCE, what happened to civil discourse? Are we going to go to UVA and take down everything related to Thomas Jefferson because he had slaves? Doesn't the good that he did count for something?

    WE are living in sad times, and although many would like to blame Trump this divisiveness has been a part of our country for way longer than 8 months.

    Love seeing your beautiful, innocent grandson. Sounds like you had a wonderful time with hime.

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  27. Yes, the neo-nazis and white supremacists are awful. But frankly, the biggest group to be wary of is the media. It has been this way for a long time and has gotten worse. I've witnessed it since I was in journalism school in the 1970s and then as a newspaper reporter. (It took me a long time to catch on, unfortunately.) For me, it is far better to get news from sources that clearly indicate their ideological position, such as left-leaning politico.com and right-leaning breitbart.com (neither of which, I believe, are evil), than to get news from the mainstream sources such as big-city newspapers and network and cable TV news, who try to appear unbiased but really are biased, and cover news in a way that seems designed to provoke outrage from some group or the other – outrage that leads to events such as a registered Democrat voter going to Washington DC in June and shooting at a congressional baseball practice, severely injuring a Republican congressmen and several others, and the events in Charlottesville, in which a registered Republican voter ran his car into a crowd and killed a young woman and wounding many others. Don't just tune into one news source, get news from a lot of sources, and remember that truth and news are not synonymous.

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  28. Catching up with some blog reading today and miss seeing you in our FB group Brenda. I am so sad at all of what is going on in our country and agree that nothing was ever solved by hate. I applaud you for taking a stance here and I fear for the young innocents like your lovely grandson.
    Hugs, Janet

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

Please be kind with your comments. We all need kindness in this world. That's not to say you can't state your opinion! Everyone should be able to state their own opinion in a kind and thoughtful manner.

I appreciate each and every one of you!