This weekend, in the darkness separating Saturday night from Sunday morning, our son’s high school was attacked by a hater with spray paint.
Some thug wrote despicable things. I won’t reprint them, but go ahead and presume the typical hate speech (albeit with 1970’s words), attacking the typical scapegoats: Gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews. As soon as it was discovered, a few of the good people of Pacific Palisades removed the chilling words from a mural, from a tree, from the walls welcoming people to Palisades High School. They painted over them on the sidewalk in front of school. I wondered, how could we replace them with kind, inclusive sentiments instead?
First thing this morning, Palisades High students did just that, and their chalk expressions filled the courtyard of the school.
The ugly attack feels like a a piece of the hateful spirit that is infecting public discourse in America 2016. I’ve watched it unfolding with horror and dismay, but done nothing but wring my hands and worry. Today we were reminded of the lesson that bad things happen when good people do nothing. That standing by is not an option.
That’s easier said than done. What do we do? We organize, we speak up, we vote. We teach our children tolerance, and we let them teach it right back to us. We take the high road, peacefully, like the young people of Palisades High, who responded not by hurling louder epithets, nor by raging when they may have wanted to, but with loving each other more loudly.
See for yourself.