I’m not totally sure what to say about Charlottesville. Today, I’m sad and tomorrow I probably will be, too.

In 50 years, I hope we look back at this as the loud finale to an evil way of thinking and being. I hope we realize that the moment we decided to join Facebook or use Google, we gave up our right to say “no” to globalization.

I hope we properly fund our educators and the districts where they teach so all of our kids get a chance to learn about the history of centuries of slavery and discrimination, the strife those years created and the wars fought to ensure we never saw those days again. I hope my kids learn that we all come from the same place and that we are bound by our origins irrespective of the walls we build.

What can we do to mitigate these views? I think the most obvious answer lies in our leadership. Donald Trump, repeatedly choosing to condemn violence “on both sides” and not denounce the self-proclaimed “white supremacy” or “neo-Nazi” protest groups, is an implicit statement of approval. A member of their movement drove his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters, injuring many and killing one. The leaders we choose reflect and shape our value systems.

Secondly, peace is a choice. It is our choice. Those who hate can never win. How could they? All they’ve ever known is how to spot differences, perceived impurities. Our world is a mosaic of people, places, ideas, thoughts and dreams; it is those who accept this fact who choose peace.

Love and hate, peace and war, justice and injustice. These elements will always exist among us. We know in which direction the arc of history bends.

Henry Oliva

Yarmouth