Letters to the Editor: September 6, 2017

'Provoking more outrage or violence is never a best strategy'

Go, Kate

Congrats to Kate Rowe and to the Bohemian (“Hello, Dahlia,” Aug. 30) for taking notice of this amazing person and her amazing dahlias!

Via Facebook

This girl is the hardest worker and most beautiful person. So happy you were able to capture her spirit.

Via Bohemian.com

Touch the Heart

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” is one of my favorite quotes. It suggests the dangerous folly of using violent means to counter violence. Attributed to Mohandas Gandhi, a nonviolent warrior, it cautions that raging fires aren’t quelled with more fire.

Yet historically, most noble warriors have argued that the best way to protect the vulnerable and marginalized is to outmaneuver with even more deadly, even more violent means than those whose aim is to strong-arm and destroy the “innocent.”

The increase in violent threats and hate crimes in the United States since Trump’s election is spawning more outcry that retaliatory—or even pre-emptive—violent options are needed to prevent fascism from taking further hold. Enter the “hard left”—the Antifa—an anti-facist movement pitted conscientiously against the alt-right, neo-Nazis, the KKK and nationalist thugs set on terrorizing or annihilating those they blame for perceived threats to their once dominant status and white, male privilege: people of color, LGBTQ, women, immigrants, Jews, “elitist” intellectuals, artists, journalists, etc.

For any person of conscience, it’s important to ask whether violence against violent people is ever the only or best way. While I appreciate the courage it takes to stand up to people who “hate” me, I believe, like Anne Frank, that people are good at heart if you can touch the heart. Opening the heart to find understanding and compassion can take real courage.

I argue that provoking more outrage or violence is never a best strategy, even when used for the moral purpose of protecting human and civil rights. We cannot become what we detest in others without adding to the problem.

Santa Rosa

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