I have been reading the Guardian newspaper of late, because I donated $25 to them (I strongly believe in supporting the press, but that's another column), and I feel as though I should get my money's worth.
There was a story that has really inspired me. In Germany, a town recently dealt with its Nazi problem by turning the Nazi march into a fundraising opportunity and a big joke.
Sponsors piled in. Then, they turned the planned march path into a joke "walk-a-thon," with a starting line, finish line, snacks and water.
The Nazi walkers were accompanied by inspiring tuba and banjo music. There was no hate or anger on the anti-Nazi side – it turned the Nazis into a big joke, and raised money for good causes. The Nazis are coming to march in Oakland, and it is bound to be violent, which is just what the Nazis want.
How I wish that instead of being met with hate, they could be met with something like this. By reciprocating with violence, we sink to their level.
"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," said MLK Jr., and it would behoove us to remember this, even though our immediate urge might be to make these psychos jump off a cliff.
In this nightmarish chapter of American history (that I know my grandparents would understand well, having escaped from the Nazis 80 years ago), we must all join together and meet their hate and violence with the opposite. I understand the temptation to beat them up, but that is just what the hate-mongers want. We can and must be better.
Jada Brotman is the advertising manager for the Mad River Union.