Favorite

Unifying 

click to enlarge one_love_manchester_logo_2.jpg

After months of constant headshaking and wondering how bad things will get, I'll take a gleam of hope anywhere I can find it. On Sunday it came from a group of pop stars at the One Love Manchester concert in Manchester, England. The show, hosted by Ariana Grande, a child actress turned pop singer partial to ponytails and stiletto heels, was a fundraiser and response to the bombing at Grande's May concert in Manchester that killed 22 adults and children and injured over 100 more. Despite another terror attack on Saturday night that killed seven in London, 50,000 people showed up to hear Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Take That and Liam Gallagher, among others. I turned it on because half of Twitter seemed to be watching, and I had a rare Sunday afternoon home alone with no children or husband.

The theme of the concert — of not giving in to fear — is one we need to hear right now. Social media is full of folks who refuse to acknowledge that terrorists who identify as radicalized Muslims do not represent the rest of the Muslims just as the radicalized Christian terrorists do not represent all of those who practice the Christian faith. The voices that seem to be amplified the most are those of hate. We have elected officials calling for an end to due process for those Muslims suspected of terrorist acts. I've seen multiple "Christians" argue we should torture the friends and family members of suspected Islamic terrorists. I'm so disgusted I don't even know what to say sometimes.

The grace and compassion showed by this group of pop stars was in sharp contrast with the petty, politicized statements from President Trump on Twitter in which he criticized the mayor of London, doubled down on his talk of a travel ban, and showed he either is completely uninformed about England's gun laws or is deliberately ignoring them in an attempt to win points with the NRA crowd. We find ourselves in a situation in which, as one of my good friends pointed out, the bar is so low right now that any act of decency or effort to unite instead of divide seems heroic.

For me, at least, there is another layer to all of this. Since last year, just being a woman can feel like a political act. In the past week, a planned all-female showing of the "Wonder Woman" movie in Texas seemed to draw more outrage than the all-male panel of senators deciding the fate of our health care; journalist Megyn Kelley was accused of needing a "pill" after she questioned Vladimir Putin about a Trump/Russia connection; and I was told I needed to "simmer down" by a male attorney while discussing a court case. Sigh. Right now, as women fight for more positions of power and leadership, we are faced with the reality that we dare not be too strong or too compassionate. Seeing a group of female singers taking compassion and strength to the extreme was exactly what I needed.

I imagine some will find those like me so moved by all of this to be naive or silly or overly sentimental. I don't care. This concert was a way to show the rest of the world that there are those who want to come together without fear and without hate. Since we no longer have a president willing or able to try to be a unifying force in the world, it just might take a rainy Sunday afternoon watching a group of pop stars on a stage halfway across the world to make us feel better.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Autumn Tolbert

  • Time for a coalition

    While Hurricane Trump wreaks havoc on everything that is good and decent and democratic, another storm in the Democratic Party just won't let up. Many of us hoped the turmoil between Hillary Clinton's supporters and Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters had finally subsided as both groups rallied together over the past few months to fight draconian changes in health care policy and the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Cotton's plan

    With the amount of recent hand-wringing by the Republican Party, you'd think its members were getting ready to do something. It seems that every week, one or more GOP members of Congress come out with a statement denouncing the words or actions of President Trump or his supporters.
    • Aug 31, 2017
  • Home is where the hatred is

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hate Map," a chapter of the Christian American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is headquartered in Hoxie, a small town in Lawrence County that also holds the distinction of being the first battleground of the segregationists in the fight to integrate Arkansas schools.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Schlafly's influence

    Phyllis Schlafly, mother, attorney and longtime antifeminist, died recently. What Schlafly promoted was not novel or new. Men had been saying that men and women were not equal for years. However, anti-feminism, anti-women language had much more power coming from a woman who professed to be looking out for the good of all women and families.
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • Wrasslin' Trump

    I first thought the Sunday morning video clip of President Trump wrestling was something from one of the many parody accounts on Twitter.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
    • Jul 20, 2017

Latest in Autumn Tolbert

  • Time for a coalition

    While Hurricane Trump wreaks havoc on everything that is good and decent and democratic, another storm in the Democratic Party just won't let up. Many of us hoped the turmoil between Hillary Clinton's supporters and Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters had finally subsided as both groups rallied together over the past few months to fight draconian changes in health care policy and the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Cotton's plan

    With the amount of recent hand-wringing by the Republican Party, you'd think its members were getting ready to do something. It seems that every week, one or more GOP members of Congress come out with a statement denouncing the words or actions of President Trump or his supporters.
    • Aug 31, 2017
  • Home is where the hatred is

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hate Map," a chapter of the Christian American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is headquartered in Hoxie, a small town in Lawrence County that also holds the distinction of being the first battleground of the segregationists in the fight to integrate Arkansas schools.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sex on campus

    • Nobody is blaming the victim. There also isn't some sinister patriarchy going on, it is…

    • on September 25, 2017
  • Re: Sex on campus

    • I'm in my 50's. I don't think I know a single woman who HASN'T been…

    • on September 25, 2017
  • Re: Sex on campus

    • Here we see a "social scientist" who begins with an ad hominem argument, and then…

    • on September 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation