This is a thoughtful, balanced, and finally beautiful essay. The presence of evil in the human heart, in mine, and others, has always been prominent in my mind. In fact, I am far more shocked by humanity's acts of kindness than its acts of cruelty. I do think that there was one element to the discussion which was omitted - an element which is perhaps more difficult to acknowledge than the commonalities we share with those who commit horrific acts: the possibility that horrific acts are engendered in part by the actions of the victims. Christ said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Rumi said, "before you condemn the perpetrator, look into the heart of the victim." Brewer's actions were not committed in a vacuum, nor were Hitler's. A woman who dresses provocatively is not to blame if she is raped, nor is a man flashing fistfuls of cash to blame for his mugging, yet neither are innocent. Being African-American, Jewish, Native American, or a victim of a crime does not equate with innocence, or even lack of responsibility in provoking anger. Often people we dismiss as bigots can produce cogent arguments to support their beliefs; dismissing them because they hate, or commit violent acts is the same sort of denial the author describes in this essay. God bless us all, God will judge us all.
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