Perhaps too much is being asked of too few

The title of this post came from a lyric to a song called “Patriot’s Dream” by Arlo Guthrie. Let me repeat it for emphasis – perhaps too much is asked of too few. What does this mean in today’s world?

This weekend we saw a 32 year old woman killed who was doing what she always did – protesting injustice. There she stood with mind, body and soul standing up to hate. She said with her presence it is not right that you violate what Jesus and others told us and unfairly demonize others who do not look like you do. And, in our country it is not right to deny rights to other citizens.

We have allowed too few to stand up and do what is right. This woman had more courage in her tiny body than many of those whose hearts are filled with hate. We all need to join with her efforts to fight injustice. Hate cannot carry the day.

What can we do? We must shine spotlights on hate. Just like roaches, when the light is turned on they will scatter. It takes a lot of energy to hate and it will wear you down. The easier path is to treat others with dignity and compassion.

We must ask of our religious and political leaders to speak more of tolerance and doing what is right. If they choose not to, then we must seek new leaders. We cannot condone bigotry from our leaders and especially from the pulpit.

Seeing the wave of support against these hate mongers is encouraging. But, we must continue the fight against bigotry. We must avoid using the violence in so doing, but we must stand strong against those who do. And, remember the words of another song about bigotry by Oscar Hammerstein in “South Pacific.”

“You must be carefully taught by the time you are seven are eight, to hate the people your parents hate. You have to be carefully taught.”

Or, we could teach love instead.



17 thoughts on “Perhaps too much is being asked of too few

  1. Note to Readers: Here is the first stanza of “Patriot’s Dream.”

    “Living now here but for fortune
    Placed by fate’s mysterious schemes
    Who’d believe that we’re the ones asked
    To try to rekindle the patriot’s dreams.”

    For younger readers, Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Arlo is most famous for his protest song “Alice’s Restaurant.” But, he is also known for recording the terrific song “The City of New Orleans,” about the final journey of a train with that name.

  2. Very well said, my friend. And yes, we must all do what we can to shine the spotlight on these people, to combat the hate, the violence. We will not likely change their thinking, but they must be shown that we will not tolerate their behaviour.

    Loved the City of New Orleans!!!

    • Jill, many thanks. As you have noted, this is the time to push back on hate mongerers. We have seen Arlo twice now and can’t wait to hear that song. Keith

    • Hugh, you are probably right, but I was quoting MLK who said to maintain hate is hard on you. I saw footage of Heather Heyer’d father bragging on his daughter’s courage saying she was far braver than he is. Keith

  3. Perfect!
    Hate is indeed taught. A sentence here a remark there and the lesson is learned. We must shine the light on those little remarks in our daily lives to prevent them from festering into crowds of hateful hearts.

    • Lisa, you are so right. Little comments to someone may go a long way. I polite, but frank comment like “I am sorry, but I don’t find that to be true” helps. Keith

  4. Beautiful. I am especially glad you point out, “We must ask of our religious and political leaders to speak more of tolerance and doing what is right.” Neither church leaders nor political leaders want their groups to become divided, and they are both also very concerned about numbers and dollars. This has led to a weak message in each sector. But the darkness in our society has reached a point where I think they are waking up to their responsibilities. They have no choice, really, because we ARE going to help them. Change comes from the bottom, the people.

    • JoAnn, thanks. There are a number of ministers and faith leaders who are speaking out, but there are still some who are silent or trying to make false equivalences between the Black Lives Matter and white supremacist movements. While I do not condone extremists in any group using violence, the two groups are not the same. The former says my rights and life matter, while the latter is saying to that group no they don’t. I just wrote a letter to my editor regarding this false equivalency which was used by a NC State Senator. It is too common and has been promoted by Fox News when they erroneously labeled Black LIves Matter movement as a domestic terrorist group. Keith

  5. She WAS in a crowd of like-minded individuals. Her death is a random consequence…I don’t mean to trivialize her death, but I do believe that the rest of the people in that crowd, though they are still alive, are also not trivial. I have read and heard various opinions from learned thinkers and writers, that it is not enough to post resistance on social media, that it is not enough to walk the streets waving flags and banners…and yet…I remember that it was the sheer size of the protests in the 60s that really began to turn the tide of public opinion. Death is the unfortunate punctuation of protest. Kent State showed us that. The resistance is growing. And the resistance is even spreading across party lines. That is a good thing. I believe we should be flying American flags at half mast for Heather Heyer. May her passing be the punctuation we need to lay down our rhetoric and come together in sanity.

  6. Dear Kieth,

    Thanks for writing the editor. There are still those attempting the arguments of false equivalency when there is none. One group is promoting hate whereas the counter-groups are fighting to snuff out hate. One side is pushing for exclusion but the other side is asking for inclusion.

    DDT is so devoid of any morality and decency that he was covering for the same folks who spoke in derogatory terms against his Jewish. son-in-law and grandson.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, it got out that Gary Cohn, who is Jewish, was thinking of resigning and the stock market fell. The rumor was quelled, but with his calmer hand on the financial to counterbalance Bannon who wants a trade war, his possible departure over Trump’s asinine remarks was scary. By the way, they printed my letter. Keith

      • Dear Keith,

        Some folks are calling for Mr. Cohn to resign. Normally, I would agree with this advice except if the person is playing a key role where they are protecting the US peoples from whatever harm, DDT can do.

        Congratulations! That is quite the accomplishment.

        Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, I agree. He is a counter balance to Bannon and we need cooler heads around when an intervention is needed like they did with Nixon – sir, you are about to be impeached, you need to resign.

  7. Note to Readers: There is an analogy that could be a corollary to Arlo’s song. If you want to affectuate change, get people on the bus with you that also want change. The “too few” need to invite and others join the bus ride. I would also suggest ploys from the civil rights movement and focus on civil but steadfast protest. The few that carry weapons are doing a disservice to their mission and are acting just like the hate mongers.

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