United by our hope | In Our Opinion

United by our hope | In Our Opinion

  • Monday, August 21, 2017 2:30pm
  • Opinion

Bainbridge stands together, again.

It may seem routine to some. And there’s a few folks, no doubt, elsewhere in Kitsap who may have rolled their eyes when they heard the word about another vigil on Bainbridge.

On Monday, islanders once again stood up and stood out. The call went out and we spoke out. Together, again.

Many of us have been transfixed in recent days at the unbridled ugliness unleashed over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

There, under the guise of a “Unite the Right” rally, scores of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen and other racists and bigots crawled out from under their rocks to spew hate and evil intolerance. The disgusting display turned deadly Saturday, when Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal marching against the racists who descended on her hometown, was killed when a white nationalist from Ohio rammed his car into the crowd of counterprotesters.

We turned, then, to hear some semblance of moral leadership from our president — some calming words of healing and empathy, a call to our better angels — but heard instead the sickening defense of a crowd of white supremacists and racists that the president said included “very fine people,” and the indefensible claim that those who champion hate are the same as those who fight against it.

Against this backdrop, we stood. Together, again.

With short notice, more than 200 islanders gathered Monday to stand against racism and intolerance.

For those who wonder why Bainbridge feels compelled to come together, to stand shoulder to shoulder at yet another vigil, please remember: This is who we are. It’s in our DNA. It’s what we’ve done many times before, across generations. We’ve stood against injustice, against racism, against hate, against war. We’ve stood for peace, we’ve stood for those who could not.

It gives us faith; it gives us hope. As those gathered Monday sang, in the words of “We Shall Overcome”: “Deep in my heart, I do believe. We shall overcome, some day.”

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