To an American minister

There can be no argument now that the rising tide of fascist and white supremacist ideology in this country has reached a tipping point. In Charlottesville it was the Alt-Right, in El Paso a lone gunman, and in Oregon the Proud Boys – add to this a recent string of foiled mass-shootings, and it would be impossible to argue that the political far right has not escalated the conflicts in this country. Historically when the far right has sought political power, it has done so primarily via violence, and although the same can most certainly be said for elements of the far left, there has only briefly been a radical far left in this country who viewed violence as a means to an end. The era of the Weather Underground is gone, but never has the era of the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacy been snuffed out in the United States, from Jim Crow to Oklahoma City to a Walmart in El Paso. A literal civil war was not sufficient to exorcise these elements from society, evidenced not by monuments to the failed Southern rebellion, but the actions of individuals like Timothy McVey and the numerous perpetrators of the church, synagogue, and mosque shootings in the past three years. A resurgence of xenophobia now combines the worst elements of racism with the empowering elements of political rhetoric – and in this country, political rhetoric echos in church sanctuaries.

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