A crisis even more insidious than the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening our country – indeed, its very soul. The fraudulent “White Replacement Theory” promulgated by right-wing media pundits and circulated by nefarious groups on social media and the internet motivated an 18-year-old boy to commit mass murder in Buffalo, New York. This adolescent had been immersed in white supremacist and racist propaganda for his entire life, growing up in a culture of violence that glorifies weapons and the unregulated right to use them.
Stochastic domestic terrorism is downplayed or even ignored. Mass shootings, rather than being confronted and stopped, have become normalized and accepted as simply the price to be paid for individual freedoms.
Our country is politically, socially, and economically divided. Our faith traditions are presented with the opportunity, indeed the obligation, to unite us and call out the lies being disseminated by the media, corporations, and politicians seeking to keep us divided. Let us defend and depend upon truth, which, as we are taught in John 8:31-32, will “set us free” from the fear and hatred that consume us.
America is still in a state of denial about the effects of racism within our culture. It is necessary to establish relationships and friendships with those outside our own experience to understand their circumstances and concerns. Our minds and hearts must be open to increased understanding and empathy.
Education is needed more than ever to meet this challenge. GMU remains committed to unity through diversity and strives to promote the truth constantly and consistently for justice and peace in a more equitable world.
~ President Gerald Grudzen
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