Plato, the ancient philosopher whom many scholars have credited with influencing early Christianity, felt that ignorance was the primary (if not only) human sin. He believed that if one was open to and actively sought the truth then things would take care of themselves. This is an interesting concept. Unfortunately it was a concept noticeably absent at the Jan. 7 Beltrami County Board meeting.
Normally I let such things like this ugly display of ignorance and fear slide, figuring that it’s just a tempest in a teapot. Like the din from any rattled empty trash can, it fades. But the fact is that this single mob action, if not addressed, would be equivalent to not voting on the resolution that the president forced upon us. By not protesting this outrage I tacitly add my name to our new title of “The First Racist County on the Mississippi.”
I recognize that many of the attendees at that county board meeting are not bad people. Some, I would say, are “salt of the earth” folks who would on an individual encounter give you the shirt off their backs. But there were also some bad actors who intentionally promoted ignorance using rumor mills, chat lines and direct contact by ring leaders. This hardly constitutes doing one's homework, asking the tough questions, and analyzing what is actually being called for by any call to action. If there is ever to be reconciliation within this county, state and nation, we must all embrace Plato's view of sin. We all need to bask in the warmth of truth and shun ignorance.