I'm thinking this morning about conversations I’ve had over the years with people who still feel the wound of wrongs done to their ancestors – especially those on American soil – Native American genocide, African American slavery, Asian American internment camps, and others I don’t have space to mention here.
I’m also thinking about how defensive I get when having those conversations – “Hey, I didn’t do that to you! My ancestors weren’t even here when that happened! Don’t be mad at me, just because I’m a white guy!” I want these people to “get over it”, “let it go”, “move on”. I want them to forget.
I’m thinking about all this because today is a day that many Americans are posting images of the Twin Towers with “Never Forget” graphics. Some go further to point the finger at Islam, at all Muslims – saying “Never forget who the enemy is”, or “With God’s help, we will kill the enemy”. I’m thinking about how millions of Muslims are feeling exactly what I feel when I’m linked to atrocities in the past, just because I’m white, or American, or a Christian.
9/11 was a tragedy because some evil people destroyed thousands of lives. And we should remember. We should “Never Forget” how awful it is to be the victim of such evil. And we should “Never Forget” that we all – every one of us – have the capacity for hate and evil that is every bit as destructive. As Walt Kelly said in the 60s, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” ~ Jesus