I have been very distracted this week. My heart has been heavy. My mind has been trying to grapple with the hateful events of this past weekend.
In the face of such racism, I must ask myself what part am I to play in this fight against hate. How am I to combat the hate that is swirling around me?
I had plans to share a very different topic this week, but I simply can’t. To do so would diminish the significance of the events of last Saturday.
I don’t typically discuss political issues on my site but the events in Charlottesville, VA on August 12th, warrant just a few words.
As an African American Hispanic female from Brooklyn, I am acutely aware of the existence of racism. Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America, in no way led me to believe that we had overcome much of ANYTHING!
The rise of “45” confirmed that for me and many others. The rise in overt acts of hate and racism is a direct correlation to the elitist separatist rhetoric of 45.
Let’s Make America Great Again….exactly what does that mean? What part of American history do we intend to resurrect?
Irrespective of what 45 may have intended with those words, many of his supporters are using his campaign slogan as jusification to commit acts of hate, racism and violence.
That simply is not a world I want to live in and it is definitely not the world I want to leave for my children!
I believe hate (and racism as an example) are taught; as is a sense of elitism and supremacy.
The photos of the white men captured by news cameras and cell phones, represent men we work with every day, we go to school with, we are patrons of their establishments, they are our teachers!
These men felt empowered…unafraid even, of the consequences of being identifiable.
The hoods are off and now we know some of them by name!
As a result, some have been denounced by their families, others have lost their jobs. But the backlash of being identified as a white supremacist will only serve as fuel for the fire of hatred they spew.
The events in Charlottesville brought to the forefront what many people of color already knew…that these people were always among us…their racism and hatred concaled, but there.
Now our white counterparts that stand for equality, freedom, and justice for ALL…now they know. They can see for themselves that this evil is real and rampant in our country.
We can not let this happen on our watch! Hate and racism can not prevail.
Here’s what we ALL should do to combat hate:
We should pray for our country, for “45” and our government officials.
…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)
2. Get Involved
– Sign a petition denouncing the acts of these alt right and national supremacist groups.
– Volunteer with or contribute money to organizations fighting against the ideals of those groups.
– Support political candidates with a proven track record of serving ALL and seeking justice and equality for ALL.
– Vote in your local and the national election.
– Don’t shy away from the opportunity to talk with your children about these events. Our children are the future, they need to understand the world we live in…the good and the bad, so that they can hopefully change it for the better.
Love one another and teach your children to do the same. In the abstract this is fairly easy, but in actuality it may be a bit of a challenge. I respect that and I’m right there with you.
We must be very careful not to transfer our personal biases against an individual to a group of people. Generalizing can be very dangerous. Sure we will have conflicts and may not like a certain person. But we must limit those responses and that emotion to the one individual. Treating each person as an individual prevents pre-judgments about a group of people.
Additionally, if we start off from a place of love, then we are more likely to give people that look differently than us the benefit of the doubt. Often times, we all just need a little bit of grace.
Let’s make America great…by combating hate and fighting for equality!