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The paradox of love: Trump's United States of hate

Dr. Keith Magee | 8/7/2019, 7:45 p.m.
America is experiencing the most perilous of times in recent history as the result of its president, Donald Trump. Even ...

They galvanized together to enact laws because there were racist White Americans who lacked civility. The laws had to be created to protect those whom they dehumanized with Jim Crown, the violence of rape and torture of death. The preaching of "whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also", is no longer applicable in these times. There's no longer the tolerance to mount a non-violence movement or foot soldiers in protest when the evidence is clear that this venom embodied in these White-skin individuals is filled with

intentional rage, injustice and violence, against everyone that isn't a pure American of Anglo-Saxon decent. Yes, there are few who Blacks that are getting passes but I learned early in life that there was no difference between house slaves and those in the field.

The white supremacist groups categorically deem them all as subhuman. After I stepped away and reflected on my dinner conversation, I realized that my retort to these times have caused me to depart from the most essential and guiding principle of my faith. With all that the raced baited massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio by White males ages 21 and 24 in the last 48 hours, I'm wrestling with how do you continue to offer love to those who are responsible for the spillage of your brother's blood-shed on the ground?

How do, I, as a social justice intellectual and faith leader provide guidance that teaches how to love those who persecute you, speak all manner of evil against you? How do I lean in to find similarity with those who say that the believe in the same Jesus that many non-White Americans serve? If this gospel can't unite us, especially, in times like this, then what can?

Anger and Love have no limits especially when it is seeded in fear and one's Misappropriated religion. The scribes were so caught up on the rules, which made up the religion, that they had fallen short on knowing how to have relationship with God, themselves and their neighbor. There is no negating the reality of the fear of a group of White Americans being left in poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, White people are 52 percent of people lifted from poverty by safety-net programs, while Black people made up less than a quarter of that share. When it comes to receiving Medicaid, Whites make up about 43 percent of recipients, Hispanics about 30 percent, African-Americans 18 percent, with 9 percent identified as other. It is obvious that their concerns are valid. However, it is unfortunate that their anger is misappropriated. It should be directed towards the White men, like Donald Trump, who are more focused on their own wealth than strengthening and providing economic opportunities for these White Americans.

When I awakened Sunday morning I learned of the incident in Dayton, Ohio, where I graduated high school. My close group of friends immediately began to check on those who still reside there. We learned of several recent insistences of targeted violence in Dayton. When I learned that one of my sister-friends and her family were literally next door to where the shooting happened, I began to weep because she's family. In our group of five, who have been friends now over 35 years, I'm the only African-American. And, yes, race shows up because we have fluid conversations.

However, what has kept our bond with our religious, sexuality and political party difference is love. It was then that I realized that perhaps the answer is larger than what's in the written text and man-made doctrines. The defining moments to overcome hate will be from what is written with love in our hearts. Maybe we can organize a healing, peace and love march with American presidents, Baraka and Michelle Obama standing alongside George W. and Laura Bush? Though they had many differences, they served the Unites States of America honoring a commitment of justice, equality and love for all.

Dr Keith Magee is a public intellectual with a focus on social justice and theology. He is Senior Fellow in Culture and Justice at the University College London and Lead Pastor at The Berachah Church, Dorchester Centre, MA. He is also a 1986 graduate of Colonel White High School in Dayton, OH.