It Tolls For Thee
Shortly after the White House announced that President Trump and his wife Melania were diagnosed with Coronavirus, social media lit up. There were many people offering their prayers and well wishes to the First Couple. President Obama said, “We also want to extend our best wishes to the President of the United States, the First Lady.” He also added hope for a “speedy recovery.”
But there was a disturbing amount vitriol and hate wishing for President Trump’s demise. Politico reported that 40% of democrats polled were “happy that Trump had Covid.” Naomi Klein, author, social activist, and filmmaker said, “we should see Trump getting Covid as the epidemiological equivalent of a mass shooting where the shooter opens fire on the crowd and then turns the gun on himself.”
Former Obama White House staffer, Zara Rahim tweeted, “I hope he dies.” California Congressional Candidate Steve Cox tweeted, “I hope they both die.” Eleanor Penny editor of The National Pulse tweeted, “I don’t hope Trump dies from Covid. I hope he dies from anything.” Writer Alex Blagg tweeted, “Just a quick note of support for Hope Hicks and President Trump, I hope they both die.”
When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963, Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X said it was “chickens coming home to roost” and “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they've always made me glad."
Malcolm X later qualified his statement by saying the “assassination was the result of the climate of hate.” And then fifteen months later in 1965, Malcom X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam which was another assassination that was a “result of the climate of hate.”
In 1624 author John Donne wrote.
“Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
The bell to which he is referring is a funeral bell.
When looking at what is going on in our society, in the world, these lines written almost 400 years ago are needed now more than ever. There is so much division in the world today; left vs right, black vs white, men vs women, you name it. It feels like the whole world is divided. Any difference between us is used to divide us.
Even though there are exponentially more that we have in common, that could unite us, we tend to focus on the differences that divide us. Far too often, people see themselves as part of a particular group or ideology, and not part of humanity as a whole. We are being placed islands made up of those with similar demographics or similar political philosophies. This only leads to greater division. We no longer see and therefore, do not embrace our shared humanity.
Everyone then becomes offended. Everyone is the victim. Which is true, we all are the victim of the hate that is occurring in the world. Every death, every injury, every insult, diminishes us all as a species. It is often said that an insult is not a reflection on the person being insulted, but on the person doing the insulting. On a broader scale, it is a reflection on humanity as a whole.
Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, religion, politics, lifestyle, we are all part of mankind. And everything bad that happens to one of us, hurts all of us. The hate one of us feels, hurts everyone. Whatever we put out there, comes back to us, affects all of us. We are cannibalizing not just each other, but ourselves.
Are the chickens coming home to roost for President Trump? Will they for those wishing his demise? Or maybe they will for everyone at some point?
In the end, the hate we give is the hate we live, but the love we show will be the love we know.
All the while, the bell is tolling for all of us.