Love is a Warrior

Not a Saint

Kay Bolden
Published in
3 min readMay 2, 2018


Image credit: DarkSouls1 on Pixabay

After the Nazi march in Charlottesville, VA last year, when Heather Heyer was murdered, my inbox and Twitter feed were awash in “love trumps hate” memes, and videos gushing that there’s only one race — the human race. My friends — of all races — sent me stylized Michelle Obama quotes and John Lennon songs and cute puppies playing in the sun. Red, yellow, black and white … we’re all so precious in God’s sight.

I appreciated their kindness, and their efforts to allay my fears. But I felt uneasy, too. It was unnatural, all this saccharine-soaked love.

My newspaper asked me to write a special column, calling for unity. Calling for hope and peace and kindness.

I had no idea how difficult this small assignment would prove.

Because my words — always so measured, so even-handed, so focused on fairness — abandoned me. For the first time in a long time, my natural inclination was not to soothe, not to make peace, but to incite.

And every story I wrote had the same theme bleeding through.


Not just for the white supremacists and their collaborators — although they were first on the list.

No, I was also enraged by every single person offering thoughts and prayers, or singing Ebony and Ivory. I was furious with everyone waving peace flags and wearing safety pins on their lapels.

I was astonished by the sheer banality of it all. Apparently, we should put our collective fingers in our ears and sing La-La-La at the top of our lungs, in hopes it will drown out the avalanche bearing down on us.

I wanted to line up all the do-gooders and feel-gooders and scream into their faces: Are you insane? We are under attack. This is not a video game.

I know — wallowing in anxiety isn’t helpful. A positive outlook is necessary in challenging times. And ordinarily, I’m hopelessly optimistic. Ordinarily, I’m a glass-half-full kinda girl.



Kay Bolden

Author of Breakfast with Alligators: Tales of Traveling After 50, available now on Amazon | Tweet @KayBolden | Contact: