Thoughts on the March Against Hate
From Pastor Gary Vanderpol
This weekend, more than twenty-five of us from CWOW peacefully and prayerfully marched against hate. Along with thousands of other Berkeley residents (including many hundreds from faith communities in the East Bay) we stood against racism and for justice. Of course, as in any massive gathering, there were diverse perspectives expressed, including some that troubled me, but even more that amused me (like the Groucho Marxists wearing fake glasses and mustaches).
Still, the overwhelming takeaway was a very simple message of love and the dignity of all people. How often does a good chunk of a large city come together in support of values that are central to Christian faith? In my experience, it was Berkeley at its best, and I was proud we were a part of it.However, the “mainstream media” had a different perspective. Here are some representative headlines:
- Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley (Washington Post)
- 13 arrested during clashes at dueling protests in Berkeley (CNN)
- Antifa Beats Up Trump Supporters, Fuels Right-Wingers (New York Magazine)
- Violence by far-left protesters in Berkeley sparks alarm (LA Times)
And check out this frequently retweeted video. It is a video of violence against a possible white supremacist that is interrupted by an African American who puts his body on the line to protect the victim! But that’s right when the recording is conveniently cut off. I guess these are just more examples of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Yes, several fights happened, but without the support or even knowledge of the vast majority of peace-loving, harmonious demonstrators.
Still, the overwhelming takeaway was a very simple message of love and the dignity of all people. How often does a good chunk of a large city come together in support of values that are central to Christian faith? In my experience, it was Berkeley at its best, and I was proud we were a part of it. The real story was: thousands of people march for peace and love.
So if you have friends or relatives who read about just another violent Berkeley protest, please tell them what it was really about. Also, check out KQED or Berkeleyside’s more balanced coverage, including a photo of CWOW. Can you spot Antony holding a sign made by Dar?
If you have thoughts on this (or anything else), I’d love to connect. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org