“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” – The Crisis by Thomas Paine, 1776
The words of Thomas Paine ring true and relevant once again for our country. We must stand up and oppose all attempts to limit freedom as they are all examples of tyranny. It is important to remember that tyranny comes in many forms. Whether it be from a king, a totalitarian government, a religious institution, a president, Congress, or the tyranny of the majority, we must lay our lives and reputations on the line for freedom.
When something happens in America that is shameful and embarrassing, we must acknowledge the problem and need for progress while taking action for the better, but we should never abandon our country or civil liberties in order to secure the end result recklessly. One day it may very well be your rights that get violated in order to obtain the end results of the majority. Hatred will always exist on this planet, but love will always trump hate. When we confront hatred and violence with hatred and violence, it results in more hatred and violence. When we confront hatred and violence with love, lives change, even if it is only one life. Why join the insane with your own insanity? It only helps their cause and hurts your own.
Imani Williams, you are my hero for the week because you guided a white Trump supporter to safety amidst aggressive counter-protesters in Boston, even though you disagreed with his views. Voltaire would be proud. Thank you for your selfless courage in protecting free speech during our American crisis. Instead of just saying that love trumps hate, you actually trumped hate with love. What a powerful notion. Actions speak louder than words.