Recent events in Charlottesville, VA have exposed the ugliest side of American culture. Hatred, racism and violence spilled over when a group of white supremacists blew into town to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. As we all know by now one thing led to another with a 20-year-old boy from Ohio plowing into a crowd of people killing one.
Where you stand on Robert E. Lee's statue is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is that a group of ignorant zealots chose that as an issue to further their cause of racism and hatred.
As this was happening the country was looking to its leaders for comfort and guidance. What they got from our glorious leader was a few platitudes and no condemnation whatever of the people who instigated this hate filled act. But why am I not surprised? Donald Trump didn't condemn the act because he's one of them. What did you expect when you voted for him? If you doubt this at all go back and listen to the remarks of one of the most well-known racists of modern times-David Duke.
And if you think all this started with Trump, think again. President Obama spent 8 long years at odds with a republican congress who vowed to thwart his every move. Yet look what he accomplished in spite of it. Economic times are better, aren't they? Do you seriously think it's because of the current joke currently serving as president?
So here we are. Back to square one. Right?
Well, I don't think so. Here's why. Yesterday my grandson played in a series of preseason football games against teams from Bridgeport, Norwalk and New Britain. The teams they played against are heavily populated by players of color. Their families were there as well cheering them on as were the families of the Newtown players.
The coaches reflected the makeup of the teams they coached. They played very tough football but the Newtown boys represented themselves very well and they learned a lot. So did I.
I saw coaches who helped their counterparts on opposing teams. I saw coaches congratulate or assist injured players from other teams. I saw parents from both sides talking and laughing with each other just enjoying watching their children and grand children playing a sport. I saw acts of kindness and consideration where ever I looked. In other words I saw people being normal, good people. I saw in all of those folks what we should have seen from those pigs in Charlottesville and what we should have heard from our president.
Nationally, it was a bad day for sure. But locally I saw hope.