It's funny how sometimes, two people who hardly ever agree on anything
can both be right.
Chuck said, "There are good people, and bad people, and those people." And he wasn't that far off. I hate what neo-Nazis stand for. I wish we could rid the world of their kind of bigotry, even though I know we probably never will.
And Marissa said, "And the Constitution protects 'those people.' " And it does. They have a right to hold their opinions, and express them too, as long as they do it peacefully.
You know, Marissa really amazes me. After everything her ancestors must have gone through, she can still support the rights of people like Darrel Foster. She even reminded Chuck of the marches back in the '60's--and though she didn't specifically mention the ones for civil rights, I know they were what she was thinking about. I don't know...maybe she just finds it more possible to live her faith than most of us do; after all, the Bible says to forgive those who've done you harm.
And Chuck said, "That's different." And--once again--he was right too. I mean, after all, he may not be especially observant about it, but he's Jewish. Things like Foster's organization really hit him hard.
Which is worse, I wonder? To remember that your people were enslaved for two hundred and fifty years and oppressed and discriminated against for a hundred more, or that they were massacred wholesale? (And I think I remember that Jews got a pretty cold shoulder in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, too--that's, what, twelve hundred years or so?)
Like I said, sometimes I'm not sure what's right and what's wrong.
But that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point is that it isn't my job to decide things like that. The Paper gives me a job to do, and I have to do it. I don't choose who's worthy to live or die.
And, after all, maybe it wasn't really Foster I was supposed to save. Maybe it was Lance.
He'd already been back to Blue Island and met that black kid; that must have started him realizing that non-whites are human after all. When his father sent him along with those two "brothers" of his and he saw what lengths Foster was willing to go to, I have a feeling that got him thinking, even if he didn't admit it to us afterward. And he couldn't have missed that the guy who tried to warn his father had a black friend and a Jewish friend. Maybe all of those things were what convinced him that it was time to act on his own beliefs instead of his father's, to turn and stand with the people of Blue Island. And that--the fact that their leader's own son was willing to break with his teachings--was what broke up the whole group in the end. Now Foster's nothing but a lone crank yelling in the wilderness. His movement's what they call in England a damp squib. And he won't be perpetuating his teachings, poisoning the next generation with his hate.
I think that's worth something, you know?
And now Lance will be able to go back to his mother and live a normal life. Well, about as normal as it gets for a kid who's experienced what he has. But the fact that he has experienced it...I think that will make a difference in the man he grows up to be. Everyone's a product of his past, after all. If we didn't have certain experiences, we'd miss out on important parts of who we become.
Sounds like Mrs. Foster's here now...I just heard Lance say "Mom?" I'd better go say hello.
"Hi. Gary Hobson."
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