My machete slices through the weeds, the stems bleeding milk, a plant toxic to my horses. When I shopped for one, blades three times as large as a kitchen knife, one edge serrated like a saw, creeped me out. The opening credits to Hotel Rwanda flickered through my thoughts. —“The Tutsi rebels, they are cockroaches…we will squash the infestation”–Machetes, the weapon neighbors used against neighbors. When I hear people calling President Trump’s supporters, fascists, Nazi’s, Russian bots, I hear language that justifies violence.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in Not in God’s Name says “pathological dualism sees humanity as radically…divided into the unimpeachably good and the irredeemably bad. (51).He cites the steps to genocide. “Pathological dualism does three things. It makes you dehumanize and demonize your enemies. It leads you to see yourself as the victim. And it allows you to commit altruistic evil, killing in the name of the God of life, hating in the name of the God of love, and practicing cruelty in the name of the God of compassion” (54).
We are sliding quickly towards committing altruistic evil, thinking we are cleansing society of the Nazi, the white supremacist, the people who voted for Trump. We need to back out of our righteous hatred. We need to know people are more than their politics and find common ground—as Americans, as people living in bodies that share the same pains and joys. If we don’t, I fear the machetes will flash, the bullets will fly, burying themselves in fellow American’s bodies.
I’m Katie Andraski. That’s my perspective.
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We found these chicken eggs along our fence row. There’s something humble about chickens, who train us to feed them when they are hungry and who are mostly limited to walking on the ground, when they have wings. I want to leave us with the hope that eggs signify because I think we can stop ourselves by checking our anger and name calling.
Oh and one more thing. Here’s why I think there’s hope. On Sunday when Bruce and I were driving to an outing with our bicycles, and I was buried in my phone, I heard a horn tooting. A man in a big pick up signaled for me to roll down my window. He called out, “You lost your bicycle wheel. It’s on the otherwise of the tollway bridge by the mail box.” I thanked him, thinking how horrible it would have been if we’d arrived at The Sweet Ride without a wheel on Bruce’s bike. We turned around and drove back. I found it lying in the weeds, undamaged, like these eggs