letter to the editor

The other side of hate is love

Posted:  Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 10:45am

Dear Editor:

Almost without fail most media focused on the horror of the Charlottesville day of infamy, violence, injury and death. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.”  The “other side” is not more hate. 

Why were the 1,000 clergy who faced hate with their call to love not seen as the other side? Why were the Black Lives group who shared the love space, and sang songs with the clergy not mentioned?

Even Governor LePage mimicked the president by stating both sides were hate, ignoring thousands of love-filled people kneeling, before hate, where love-filled people stood facing guns of hate-filled lives and remained holding and sending waves of love and kindness without reacting to demeaning hateful speech.

Even when we ignore the “other side of love,” we are wrong to state that white supremacists are the same as the anti-fascist (Antifa). According to Mark Bray, a historian of human rights, terrorism and political radicalism in Modern Europe, anti-fascist tradition stretches back a century, and are autonomous anti-racist groups that monitor and track the activities of local neo-Nazis. They expose them to their neighbors and employers, they conduct public education campaigns, they support migrants and refugees and they pressure venues to cancel white power events.

While the majority of anti-fascist organizing is nonviolent, they are prepared to physically defend themselves and work to shut down what could turn into a deadly event.  They are not seen as liberal anti-racists. Nazis killed millions during World War II so the Antifa use that history to ethically be correct in working to shut it down before it’s too late. Effectively, they see themselves as saving the lives of others. They are not the same as neo-Nazis or supremacists who seek to destroy freedom and lives of non-whites and Jews.

When using “both sides” be sure to recognize the other side of hate is always love.

Jarryl Larson