I thought about qualifying this post – with one of those…”I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings” statements. But the reality is, if you feel like I am talking about you, maybe you could try to explain to the other readers of this blog why your thoughts and actions are rational.
Here’s the topic for tonight…white supremacist, white nationalist, nazis, skin heads….oh lets just call it what it is…HATE.
Hate is something I do not understand. Sure there have been people in my life that caused great hurt and maybe my feelings teetered on hate. But, if that is so, those are people I’ve been in some form of relationship with. Those are people I know by name, by their walk and I might even know their birthday. But honestly…I can’t think of anyone at this point in my life that I could associate with hate.
Yet there are people who hate other humans simply because of the color of their skin, what religion they practice or who they sleep with. How do you intellectually look at a group of people and say, “all blacks ______” or “all Jews _____” or “all gays _______” pick the stereotype and fill in the blank.
If you take the time to observe any sub-culture of people and watch the actions of the individuals associated with that group, without interjecting preconceived ideas, you will find those individuals cannot be stereotyped as being the same. Even if you notice part of the group displaying the same behaviors. I guarantee there will be an outlier. There will be an individual within that group that does not fit your stereotype.
I hear the groups that are fighting for their heritage and their right to be white claim they aren’t protesting out of hate. They claim to be protesting because they want to “preserve” some american ideal where the white people are revered and pure. They want to protect their race. They want to make sure everyone that is not white, protestant, heterosexual and (I believe) Male understands the white man is still in charge. They can still rule this country. Even if the rule of law is through fear.
Yesterday I was having a conversation with several co-workers about the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville VA. One of my co-workers said…”How does this end?”
Obviously referring to the hate, the violence, the clashing protests.
That question has stuck in my head since our conversation. By the way, the heart break and tears of another co-worker also stuck with me.
Then, today I heard an interview with Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ on NPR. I believe it was Keb’ Mo’ who said, in reference to the hate groups, (paraphrase) “Most people do not feel this way. Those whites that do feel this way are grasping for what they feel they once had. They are losing control and it scares them.”
I think he is right. I think these groups of white, protestant, heterosexual men are afraid they will no longer be in charge. When Barak Obama became the president of the United States, they saw his presidency as a step toward their demise. They experienced a real and palpable slap to the face. Suddenly it wasn’t just an American fantasy that anyone could be president, it had actually happened. Someone they felt to be inferior had proven not only that he was capable of being in charge…he was in charge. He held the highest office in the land.
So, how does this end? The only answer I have come up with is that we, the people unwilling to let hate win, stand up for our fellow Americans. We, the people unwilling to accept hate as a way of life, defend our friends, co-workers and strangers whose only crime is their difference. We, the people unwilling to watch ignorance become the norm, we fight for the equality and justice every American deserves. No matter their race, religion, gender or sexuality.