Chunking Rocks

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

I watched first with disbelief, then with horror—as I know you must have—when crowds of protestors began to bludgeon one another with the very signs they had brought to the gathering. Signs declaring Love Not Hate were lifted above the heads of those whose political beliefs were not theirs, and these same signs professing Love were brought crashing down upon the backs and shoulders of fellow Americans in a violent and uncivil confrontation. Most of those present were young adults, college age, while many were old enough to be married and working to provide for a family. Some were at the stage in their lives when they should have been busy saving for the future, making plans for a home in a good neighborhood where they and their family would be safe and surrounded by others interested in the same things: a good education, a good job, a good mate, a good home, a good future. No matter what your ideology is or what your heritage is, everyone…well, almost everyone … strives for those beautiful ideals listed in the Declaration of Independence. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I looked into the faces of some and into the eyes of others, many had covered part of their faces from me and from those they would kick and beat with large sticks. I did not see Love. I did not see reflected in those faces any concern for their neighbors, no concern for those who might suffer there on that pathetic battle field; I saw only vandals, hooligans, and thugs. I saw no intelligent, caring human beings, only delinquents, despoilers and barbarians who would take home to their family and friends wounds inflicted by other adults who should have been in school, at work, in prayer perhaps, or serving in the military like other young men and women who had better sense than to go about inflicting harm on fellow citizens!
There are resolute and hate-filled enemies out there, determined to invade, destroy, and defeat our nation’s population. And we, we are standing in the streets of this country, in the parks and on the lawns of government buildings screaming filth and raising our fists in red-faced anger at one another! We are standing across the aisles of Congress and in the Senate in Washington, D.C. raising imaginary fists and spewing disgust at fellow lawmakers. There are terrifying enemies at our gates, and we are behaving like spoiled brats, or worse, like nasty hoodlums pounding one another into bloody pulp with Hate written all over our faces?  Who are we? What have we become?
A group called the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was originally founded to help rid society of the KKK, and who some say did an admirable job, are now in the business of compiling lists of people and groups who are guilty of Hate-related activities. They have compiled a Hate Map. I am not kidding. No one can make this kind of thing up.
There are about ten categories. Anti-This and Anti-That. The icons for these hate groups are shown spread all across the United States. It came as no surprise that the majority of the icons, ugly pointed white hats, a clenched red fist, the Christian cross, to name a few, were clustered in southern states. And it was not surprising that southern California, San Francisco especially, and that New York City, the whole East Coast actually, and The District of Columbia were also shown as hotbeds of Hate.
Just yesterday I heard that the SPLC labeled some of the Antifa (antifascist groups) “wrongminded at times.” And although they may be seen waving  big black flags and wearing black masks which match their all-black attire, (favored by terrorists the world over), the SPLC says, “Antifa is not a Hate group.” And while the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has taken Ben Carson off the Extremist Watch List for his views on traditional marriage among other “egregious” beliefs, and have apologized, SPLC has named a number of conservative women to that list for their comments concerning radical Islamists. They have also published artist’s sketches, the hometowns and birthdates of these women, making them easier targets. Shame.
So, yes, Gentle Ben, for a time suffered the slings and arrows of that highly influential group. The poor welfare kid whose illiterate mother raised her two boys to study hard, work hard, stay out of gangs and “ugly” groups, and who promised them that if they would do those things and love God and country, they would succeed. And they did succeed. But now Dr. Ben Carson remains in danger of being on the Hateful list. Oh my, dear reader, the eyes of the world are most certainly upon us. I can think of no better counsel, no better advice, no better suggestion than to “Stand, therefore, with a belt of truth around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace; and in every situation, take up the shield of faith….”  (Ephesians 6: 12-13).
Amen.

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