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home : opinions : opinions January 16, 2019


11/6/2018 12:18:00 PM
None of this is winning
By Margaret Wood


Last spring I had the privilege of touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. It was a deeply emotional and disturbing experience and a testament to our shameful past. In one exhibit, etched into glass on a case that displayed a vicious leather bullwhip that was used on slaves was a quote:

"O, ye nominal Christians! Might not an African ask you-Learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as would men should do unto you?"

- Olaudah Equiano, 1789

We should be asking ourselves the same question implored by a slave nearly 230 years ago. Our country is in a moral crisis, where decency and empathy are set aside for a "win."

It is not a win when our president uses words that incite violence against detractors, political opponents, Jewish people, immigrants and people of color. It is not a win when 11 Jewish worshippers are killed in a synagogue and the president attends a rally rather than comforting a frightened, grieving nation.

It is not a win when our president refuses to admonish Vladimir Putin, or claims that he "fell in love" because of "beautiful" letters received from a North Korean dictator whose people are starving, murdered and silenced.

It is not a win when a Saudi journalist (U.S. resident) is slaughtered and dismembered in a consulate and our government does not respond definitively and immediately. It is not winning when a president claims there were "fine people on both sides" in Charlottesville, where a young women was killed by a white supremacist and the torch-bearing alt-right walked chanting "Jews will not replace us." It is not a win when a super supporter of Trump mails bombs to two former presidents, a former secretary of state, a former vice-president and other victims, and the president says he'll "take a pass" on calling the intended victims to assure them that he will do everything he can to protect them.

It is not winning when migrant children are separated from their parents, kept in tents and cages or sent thousands of miles away from the only people they know. It is not winning when a president talks about women as if they are objects, calls them derogatory names and mocks a victim of sexual assault. It is not winning to imitate a disabled journalist or praise the assault of another by a congressman. It is not winning to say that immigrants are "infesting" our country, that a "caravan" of "bad people" are coming to "invade" us or that our constitutionally supported free press is "the enemy of the people."

None of this is winning. This is losing. Losing a moral compass.

Let us not forget the time when a McCain supporter at a campaign rally approached the senator and said, "I can't trust Obama. I have read about him, and .... he's an Arab." McCain immediately shook his head and took the microphone from her. "No ma'am," McCain said. "He's a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about." Candidate McCain would not let that lie go any further.

It is winning when we remember that we are better than this, stronger than this and more compassionate than this. When we stop feeling good about name-calling at rallies, about separating families, about fearing the "other" or blaming the less fortunate for their situation. It is winning when we realize that our children will inherit this earth and we have an obligation to future generations. It is winning when we stand up for facts, truth, justice, human dignity and the values that this country was founded upon.





Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2018
Article comment by: Kurt Silva

Truth! Sad, but true.



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