Once again, I stand against the forces of hate in this country. The tragic results of the events in Charlottesville require us to rise up in opposition to the racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and other hateful individuals and groups. I have struggled against these deplorable ideologies my entire life, recognizing their existence early in life having witnessed a KKK gathering at the picnic area in New Market, Tennessee, at the age of nine. I remember asking my grandmother why there were four bathrooms and two drinking fountains at Sears on Central Avenue in Knoxville. The schools I attended in Jefferson City were completely segregated until enforcement of the Civil Rights Act began when I was in high school.
I also remember the numerous suicide attempts of my classmates, some with tragic consequences. The love that dared not speak its name resulted in tortured anguish for many of my LGBTQ friends and classmates. I faced that hatred with fear and loathing as a young lesbian.
As an adult from my 20s until now in my mid-60s, I look back on my personal struggle against these hateful events, people and groups with a growing sense of frustration. The infighting and focus on our differences on the left must cease for now as we face a cohesive radical right wing. This is not to say that we should abandon our efforts to increase understanding of the widely varying facets that exist as we experience racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of hate. But, we must set them aside for a season and come together to fight the monster that has reared its ugly head. I fervently hope we can do this..