I can’t get hate off my mind.
I’m really trying to understand it – and the people that feel it so deeply that they think, talk about, or actually hurt others because of it.
We just went to see the movie BlacKkKlansman and I was MOVED. I was sobbing by the end. My soul was shook. I wanted to write this post right away, but thought in doing that, I may say something I regretted. I was deeply hurt about those out there that have had to, and still do, deal with unfathomable hate cast towards them. For doing nothing but existing. Again, for doing NOTHING but existing.
I’ve never experienced this (that I am aware of), and for that, I am beyond grateful. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to be talked down to, treated poorly, and possibly threatened simply because I was who I was. Because of the color of my skin. Because of the religion I followed. Beliefs I carried. Sexual orientation. Groups I was associated with. The list goes on and on.
I started to think a lot about my views about others. And although I don’t carry the extreme hate in my heart those I’ve been alluding to do, I am human, and it creeps in from time to time. Sometimes it is the easiest reaction to have because by responding with hate, we are pushing away. We are putting our hands up trying to protect ourselves or hidden parts of ourselves that are reacting negatively to the person, place, or thing at hand. I think hate comes from a place of insecurity and uncertainty. There is something about whatever hate is being thrown at that is poking something deep down inside of a person, and from there it is fight or flight. Unfortunately, hate favors both.
Another thing that came to mind is how am I fostering hate? The answer was easy. By staying silent. By allowing others to put a group of people down and deciding it will just be easier to say nothing than start an argument. But you know what? There doesn’t have to be an argument. I can simply say, “I’d prefer if you didn’t talk about this with me.” Or “This conversation makes me uncomfortable and I’d rather not engage.” If you don’t have the energy to talk through it, shut it down. By staying silent, I’m allowing the hate to go on. Even by simply interrupting the conversation, I may prompt the other person to think about what they are saying, question their own views, and reflect on the “why” tied to their feelings.
I’d love to talk to people out there that passionately “hate” one or more groups of people. I would first ask them, “Why do you hate them?” I feel like in many cases, there would be stumbling over words that sound a lot like whatever B.S. they were fed by their parents, grandparents, friends, etc. over time. Learned behavior. Peer pressure. I would then ask, “What did they do to you to make you feel this way?” I feel that a small number would respond with an experience involving the “hated” group or groups doing something directly to them. Again, again – hate felt towards others for doing NOTHING but existing.
It just isn’t fair. It breaks my heart. It makes me feel terrible for the people on the receiving end. It even makes me feel sorry for the ones carrying the hate, because it can’t be pleasant. I can only imagine what GOOD they could do with all of the time and energy spent thinking about, taking action towards, even building organizations around, the groups they hate.
I think I’ve said it before, we’re all just human beings doing our best to get through this life. None of us are perfect or “better than.” We are all on different tracks. Let’s make the moments when our tracks intersect be worthwhile. Smile. Say, “Hello.” Make others feel seen. Time spent sitting with hate is time wasted.
I just ran across this video and wanted to share it here as it goes along with where my mind was at with this post. This is Beto O’Rourke who is running for the Senate in Texas: