I want to express my deep gratitude to the anonymous woman who had the courage to write about how her husband turned into a white supremacist (EW, “Married to Hate,” 2/1). I hope your friends who were shunning you have read your story and accepted you back.
We all need to spend more time asking each other “What is it like to be you?” and really listening to the answer.
I am reminded of Starhawk’s novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, where a totalitarian army is attacking a community of diverse, egalitarian, peaceful people. They mount a non-violent resistance by persuading army soldiers to defect to their side, focusing on the soldiers who have killed one of their people. They tell them “there is a place for you at our table,” and then follow through on that promise and make them welcome in their community, accepting them as human, forgiving their past mistakes.
How else can non-violence succeed?