17 August 2017
America’s current political atmosphere serves as a reminder to us that walking the Jedi Path is not as easy as we would like to believe. Especially in a polarized atmosphere where we feel the need to pick a side. If we look to the Jedi Path, we have to take the most difficult side of all: The side of the people which either refuse to engage in violence, and/or those that only defend against an active assailant. This also means that we must take a stance against anyone which would promote speech that has inspired others to violence. People that meet this description are those that align with White Supremacy, the Klu Klux Klan, Nazism, and the modern organization ANTIFA ideologies (not to be confused with the commendable belief that fascism itself is evil).
Although it may seem like it is wrong to put these groups on the same moral playing field, it is important for us to return to the Jedi Philosophy taught by Armonia in order to see how we reach this conclusion.
Duty to All
Armonia’s Jedi Code states that “we face adversity with wisdom and knowledge”. If we look across the world, we see that these wars over ideology end in massive tolls to innocents. In the Middle East, Israel is targeted by a number of Islamic Terrorist organizations which incite the people to violence against a nation that could live in peaceful cohabitation. The cycle is continued when Israel retaliates. This cycle has continued for generations and continues to take the lives of innocent bystanders. On a smaller scale, this same trend is seen in famous family feuds which tend to end in a brutal way. The Strangio-Nirtas and Pelle-Vottari-Romeos feud, for example, resulted in the shooting of 6 men who were believed to have moved to Germany in an attempt to escape the clan’s fighting.
These incidents serve to remind us that people who want no part in the war can still get caught in the cross-fire. And in the case of the Strangio-Nirtas and Pelle-Vottari-Romeos feud, there may be no escape once the hatred has settled deeply in.
Respect the Law
We know and understand that neither the law nor humans are perfect. However, there is wisdom in having trained personnel deal with criminals instead of the average citizen. When an individual is faced with something they hate, they can no longer be seen as objective in their dealings with the person. It can be blinding, and therefore we call in trained personnel to help us deal with them.
This is where Armonia cannot stand behind the actions of anyone that strikes the first blow. The events in Charlottesville, VA revealed that those with ideologies aligning with White Supremacy, the KKK, Nazis and even ANTIFA lacked discipline when they faced what they hated before them. They decided , in those moments, that American law which gave them rights to peacefully assemble was not enough to win their cause and took it a step further: Assault.
Worst of all was the vehicular attack that left one dead and 19 more injured. The actions of James Alex Fields, Jr demonstrated extremist Right-Wing ideology in action. This is not the first time that ideologies have convinced people that could have once been considered good people to commit absolutely horrible actions against their fellow man. .
In 2015, under the influence of his White Supremacy research following the riots in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, Dylann Roof went to a Black Church in Charleston, SC and murdered 9 members of the congregation and injured one. Between the violence of extremists that hijacked the Black Lives Matter movement and the passive yet “compelling” arguments of those that oppose the Black Community as a whole, a terrorist was born. Thus, we cannot support the ideologies that are promoted by the hateful or the ideology of wanton violence, for they lead to disregard for the law.
If we pay attention to what the Force tells us, we find that we live in a connected world, and as such must respect how inter-connected everyone’s actions are to one another. Our role in life is to support the people that we believe should inherit this world- and that is not the people who spread hate or those that spread violence.
(Armonia is the new name of Force Academy’s Light Aspect)