In light or rather darkness of what is happening in Charlottesville (and if you don’t know, hate groups are committing racially charged horrendous crimes (aka being racist a**hats)) I have been laying awake thinking about all the reactions more than the actions themselves. And unfortunately I think that these extremists are getting just the reaction they were hopeful for, one of retaliation, fear, but most of all–hate.
Do you have someone you hate? Yes? When you see them, what happens? Your blood boils, your tone changes, you can barely hide your distain right?
What does all that hate get us?
Did they even earn the hate?
So often it seems, the person didn’t even earn your hatred but it is too late… you already hate them and you can’t unsee the thing that annoys you about them. And when you hate or are just an angry person, nothing ever pleases you. You are constantly consumed with the hatred that there is no room for love, happiness, and common sense! It truly must be exhausting to be that angry all the time!
Hate is learned, I am (nearly) certain you have heard this, but so are fears. You are not born with a fear of the dark or a fear of wasps, you learn those fears by: tripping in the dark and thinking a monster did it, or by being stung by a dead wasp that was laying on the floor and you stepped on it (ok yes this one is a personal problem haha). However, with all of our learned qualities we are born with an innate sense of curiosity– as the only person with freckles in my kindergarten class my classmates were fascinated by the brown patches of my mostly pale skin and in turn I was confused by why I couldn’t have the same braids and beads in my hair as my best friend.
A friend of mine shared the picture bellow about the attacks in Charlottesville:
and when I saw it I was confused as to why she wouldn’t be surprised, because I NEVER want to be a part of a society that isn’t surprised by this. I never want to think anyone has this capacity for hate in them… I will ALWAYS be surprised when someone hates someone for the color of their skin. The day I accept that people hate for literally NO reason is the day I think the (for a lack of a better word) “haters” have won. No one should just accept that they are inferior. But on the flip side of this coin, no one should expect that someone will treat them differently (in a positive or negative way) for the color of their skin.
On June 17th 2015 , a racially charged crime was committed in Charleston, South Carolina. When one, Dylann Roof, took 9 lives in a church bible study. Not only did these church goers extend a welcoming hand to the person who would soon murder them, but in the court room the next year the family forgave him on record. Roof actually said he wanted to start a race war, but in South Carolina, I did not see that come to light. The state rallied behind Charleston, holding candle light vigils and allowing the public to mourn with them leaving flowers and cards in front of the church. A few short weeks later, the state was divided when the confederate flag came down off State House property (July 10, 2015). Why do we let the small things pull us apart and let the big things fade from existence so quickly? 9 people lost their lives in the name of dividing us and we united. A piece of fabric is removed from a memorial and everyone lost their minds either defending it or shaming someone who disagreed on what it stood for.
But to get the society we want we have to start with the small stuff…
If you want to make a difference in the treatment of the earth, you have to start by picking up trash even if it isn’t yours. So if we want people to stop judging us for our skin color we have to in turn stop assuming that they are judging you for your skin color– just as not all black people are thugs, not all white people think you are.
You have to TAKE offense to be offended, therefore it is up to you not only how people see you but how you see people.
Let’s stop expecting racism, bigotry, and the worst in people.
Let’s start being surprised.