Reflections
by Jonathan Gramling
Jonathan Gramling
Editor
pizzeria because he bought into the fairy tale that Hilary Clinton was running a pedophilia ring out of its basement.

Thank God that no one died due to this man’s social media-fueled lunacy. Unfortunately the Tree of Life lunatic acted on his delusions and
gunned down 11 innocent people. Someone is manipulating these weak-minded people through social media. Maybe it’s the Russian trolls
who are still trying to divide and conquer our country. They could never defeat the United States militarily, so why not destroy it from within
through social media where everyone hates each other for no reason other than some made-up or contrived grievance? The United States is
crumbling and President Donald Trump continues to fiddle as the United States burns. The foolish thing is that he thinks he is in control. But
for the first time in his life, Trump is the puppet on the strings.

There was some Republican talk decrying the violence on both sides. But I have been scratching my head trying to remember the last time a
conservative gathering — outside of the Republican Congressman shot at a baseball game last year — that experienced mass killing by a
bomber or gunman. And I can’t remember any. But I do remember the shooting of the members of the synagogue, the bombs sent to
Democratic leaders and the mass killing at a gay nightclub in Florida. The murders have been one sided and it is only a partisan Republican
who would be deluded enough to think that everyone is doing it. It’s the equivalent to saying that everyone was lynching folks during the
reign of terror of the Ku Klux Klan. It is pure poppycock to shield them about thinking about acts of terrorism committed against segments of
the U.S. population. We have been here before and we are here again.

And then I learned yesterday that Mercile Lee, the founder and champion of the Chancellor’s Scholars program at UW-Madison, one-time
board member of the Urban League and Housing Ministries of American Baptists in Wisconsin and long-time member of the King Coalition
and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King back in the early days in Atlanta, died on Thursday, October 25th. It was truly a sad day.

Mercile was an adherent to Dr. King’s philosophy and was the guiding force behind the design and selection of speakers for the King
Coalition’s annual City-County King Holiday Celebration at the Overture Center. Mercile was a beautiful person who believed in the agape love
that Dr. King professed.

And in Mercile’s memory, I would like to encourage everyone to use the spirit of agape love in fighting the hate and violence that we have
been intensely experiencing as of late. Nothing makes the violent and the haters more upset when you love them right back. When it is done
genuinely, it takes all of their perceived power away from them and disarms them and makes them implode from within. They may have
power over the body, but they don’t have power over the soul.

It is especially important that we use our agape love to vote on Election Day on November 6th. It is by people voting in the mass that it
destroys the intent of the people who would take away people’s rights through violence and hate. It would make their efforts meaningless and
of no avail.

That is what scares them. It is their fear that causes them to use hate and violence because long ago, they lost their souls.

But we must have love in our hearts and a vision in our imaginations when we vote on November 6th.

When I started this column, I was going to urge people to vote for certain candidates. But I think it is more important to just urge people to
exercise their right to vote, a right that their ancestors shed their blood for and the first right that people try to negate when they want to rule
society with an iron hand. And cast your vote with love and a vision in your heart and soul for a better Wisconsin and society.

Ignore the hate and threats of violence, for it is only meant to own your body and soul. Don’t give in to it so that you continue to be the
captains of your destiny.

I think that is what Mercile Lee and Dr. King would want. Vote on November 6th! Who you are depends on it.
                                     Fight through Agape Love
Although I don’t like to dwell on it because there is always something that needs to get done, the last few
days have been trying for the soul. There were the pipe bombs mailed to President Barack Obama and
other Democrats and their supporters. The perpetrator had attended a Donald Trump rally last year and
had all sorts of anti-Democratic, pro Trump pasted onto the outside of his vehicle. It was a miracle that
none of them went off because while they were crude, they were not “fake” bombs. They were meant
to kill.

And then on Sunday, just yesterday, 11 people were gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue by a
man shouting anti-Jewish rhetoric including “All Jews must die.” Apparently this loser bought into hook,
line and sinker that made-up story, the real fake news, about George Soros, a billionaire of Jewish
descent, bankrolling the caravan of refugees making its way from the Guatemalan border to the U.S.
Mexico border. Please, if anyone was going to gain political capital from “a massive crowd of potential
“illegal immigrants” invading the United States,” it would be Donald Trump and the Republicans.

Apparently, this man said, “I’m going in” when he couldn’t take it anymore like some Arnold
Schwarzenegger action hero. It so reminds me of the lunatic who took his rifle to the Washington, D.C.