Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
My Wonderful Friends
I am blessed with some wonderful friends. Good people. Kind people. Intelligent people. Thoughtful people. Sensitive people. People who would never discriminate against someone just because of the color of their skin, and who would actively oppose anyone who did otherwise.
Within this very same group of people, some of them are convinced that the George Floyd riots were understandable and even necessary, and some of them are convinced that the riots were counterproductive as well as inherently wrong. (Just to clarify, for those for whom it is not obvious - I am referring to the rioting, not the protests.)
But it gets even more extreme. Some of the holders of each position are not only convinced that their position is correct; they are convinced that those holding the opposite position are utterly immoral and beneath contempt, and should be silenced.
As for me - well, I heard the position of the first group, and I thought, "You're right!" Then I heard the position of the second group, and I thought, "You're right!" And if you're going to tell me that they can't both be right, then my response to you is - you're right!
But whoever is right, I am convinced that neither side deserves contempt. Can't we try to understand other people's perspectives, or at least politely disagree, instead of just writing them off and condemning them as evil?
(All the above seems to be increasingly true not just about the Floyd riots, but about all kinds of issues.)
UPDATE: A number of people expressed indignation at how any decent person could possibly justify rioting. You can see my Facebook post for some examples in the comments, but meanwhile someone pointed to the fascinating case of the riots in the 1902 Kosher Meat Boycott - I strongly recommend reading the Wikipedia description of these.
UPDATE 2: In response to this post, someone wrote to me at length to condemn me as racism-spouting fool!