There have been different images in the past few months that paint an alarming picture of America.
Those images include the carnage in Virginia, where one person lost her life and others injured over an argument about the propriety of a historical statue — yes, one that some claim celebrates the charm and dignity of the United States’ Old South.
Others, who within reason, can claim those statues glorify the lives of men who fought to keep the shameful scourge of bigotry and slavery on the ground we all walk.
But there are other images, some just as terrible in a more immediate sense; yet, more heartening in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
One of those images was of a woman in a retirement home in Dickinson. As the floodwaters rose, she sat in her chair and the photograph of her made national news. The better part of the story is that rescue workers found her and her fellow residents. The residents were taken to safety.
In August, a Unite the Right rally by white nationalists and other groups was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the city of Charlottesville, Va. They were met by counter-protesters. The nationalists clashed with the counter-protesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.
The images that came out of Virginia were horrific.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the images out of Texas and Florida were horrific. But what we did not see were police in riot gear. We saw police helping people be evacuated from flooded homes. We saw vehicles from numerous states, coming to Texas not to protest, but towing boats. They came to help.
There is something sad that statues can serve to tear us apart, but hurricanes bring us together.
• Dave Mathews