Friends: Asheville lost its head on Monday, Sept. 12, when Donald Trump came to town.
We lost our head when we bought into the Trump supporters’ model of loud, threatening antagonism, rather than modeling our own vision of what we would like the world to be — compassionate, peaceful, friendly, respectful, caring and tolerant — thus offering an alternative that others might want to join.
We can’t fight fire with fire. We can’t fight negativity with an angrier, shriller negativity. We won’t entice Trump followers away from a damaging ideology by shouting “Racist! Racist!” in their faces.
Showing up at protests and actions is important, but the best reply we can offer to our perceived enemy, however we name him or her, is to build, right here in Asheville, the Beloved Community.
What is the Beloved Community? Hint: It’s a way of being. But we do not need to give it a set definition. The beauty of those words is that if we each act in a way that we feel would bring about the Beloved Community, we will see it rise and gradually take shape before our eyes. And then — only then — with no need of words, we will all share the knowledge that, “This is it. What we have created is the Beloved Community.”
Others will see it, too. Change will follow. But that is not our concern. The presence of the Beloved Community has a power all its own. All we have to do is live it into being.
— Daav Wheeler