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America Can Never Again Be Great Once It’s Infested By So Much Hate: Time To Start Feeling The Healing

Can US President-elect, Joe Biden, lead the way in healing a very broken, fragmented, angry nation? Photo by Jay Godwin.

America Can Never Again Be Great Once It’s Infested By So Much Hate: Time To Start Feeling The Healing

By Yvonne Sam
Contributing Columnist

Yvonne Sam -- newDuring his victory-claiming speech, which made Time Magazine’s front cover, US President-elect, Joe Biden, called for a time to heal. However, will it be that easy?

Above all, can a party with strong, radical elements lead the way in healing? Granted, we are still awaiting the official final outcome of the elections. There are many standing at a loss, at the fact that there are still rivers to cross, increasing fear, court cases to hear, some wondering what to do, with so many challenges yet to review. Christians around the country continue to pray fervently for God’s will to be done.

However, if after all the brouhaha, it turns out that Biden is the next president, with Kamala Harris as vice-president, can he lead the way in healing a very broken, fragmented, angry nation?

He said, “Let’s give each other a chance, put away the harsh rhetoric.” Yes, he urged, “Stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”

Such words are truly appreciated. I also applaud those sentiments.

The truth be told and faced is, we do not simply differ with each other these days. We despise each other. We loathe each other. We demonize each other.

Would that it were as easy as saying, “Let’s stop being enemies.” Would that we could simply come together, over shared, common values. Would that we could simply love our neighbors, as ourselves. I fervently hope that it would be so.

With the existence of strong beliefs that the election has been stolen, there will be no healing in sight. Mutatis, Mutandis should the courts overturn the current vote, there will be no healing.

And when crowds dance in jubilation at the defeat of Trump, there will be no healing. And when Black Lives Matter and Antifa remain as radicalized as ever, there will be no healing. And if Biden becomes the next president and seeks to enact many of his promised policies, as his constituents would expect him to do, there will be no healing. And if Biden and Harris set out to codify Roe vs Wade , there will be no healing. And if Biden is serious about making transgender rights the civil rights issue of the day, there will be no healing. (Note his specific mention of “Gay, straight, transgender” in his speech.)

Even with something as simple as a national mask mandate, would only deepen the divide. The past four years of the Trump administration exponentially deepened those divisions and poured salt into the wounds.

And now, with the most divisive, volatile elections since the Civil War, the divisions and suspicions are even deeper.

On the left, people, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, are attacking their fellow Democrats for not being radical enough. Towards the middle-left, the “moderates” are criticizing people like her for her radical positions. And the further you go to the right, the more the left is perceived as the number one, existential threat to the future of the nation.

That is the underlying reason both Republicans and Democrats claimed that the election was about “the future of America” or “the future of our democracy”. Everyone recognized what was at stake. What, then, can be done?

From my personal stance, we should pray that the duly elected, next president will be a unifier rather than a divider. He can set an example of civility, while maintaining his convictions. He can be a man of courage without savaging his opponents. That would help, in part.

In essence, the onus of bringing healing must fall on those, who claim to know the Lord. Those, who believe in His values; and those, who truly believe that we are called to stand out from the rest of the world, marked by our conduct and our character.

We can stand firm and immovable without being nasty and petty. We can vote our convictions without engaging in partisan political mud-slinging. Again, with God’s help, we can even love our enemies.

We can actually bless those, who curse us. It is a beautifully freeing and transforming experience. At the very least, we can practice such conduct among ourselves, among our fellow-believers, even in the midst of our inevitable differences and conflicts.

As Paul exhorted the Colossians, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).

For the Biblically-inclined, this is a command not a suggestion.

And while the healing of a hurting, angry, divided nation is a seemingly impossible task, we can seek to bring healing — one life at a time. I have come to realize that with the nature of the divisions that are tearing us apart, true healing will have to come from another source.

May each of us lead the way, not moving an iota from our deeply held convictions and not ceasing to fight for what is right, but walking in love and living as decent human beings. Can I count you in?

Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.

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