This week K and I, admittedly neither coincidentally nor randomly, watched the intense drama American History X. I’ve seen it a couple of times. She had not. When the film was released way back in 1998, the production studio’s president, Tony De Luca, unveiled, ‘It's everything I had hoped for. The performances are explosive and frightening, and the film dramatically demonstrates both the subtle and overt roots of racism while also showing the possibility for redemption.’
Without giving away the end, the film concludes with a quote I hadn’t heard before. It was uttered by Abraham Lincoln, on the steps of the not-quite-finished Capitol building. His first inaugural address. The date was March 4, 1861. Seven states had already seceded from the Union. His words gave me goosebumps. Almost tears. Somehow, despite everything he faced that day, including an assassination conspiracy, Lincoln spoke of an unfathomable hope.
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.