Anger, hate, and racism. Why what happened in Charlottesville was hard.

Photo of Colin Kaepernick via Kansas City Star

 
Yesterday was hard.
 
Hard for a lot of reasons.
 
Hard because i felt like i was living in the 50’s and 60’s in years and decades where segregation existed.
 
Hard because everything i saw in the news, on my Facebook and Twitter newsfeed was full of hate and bigotry. The smallness of minds that will never be open because they can’t see beyond their own radicalism.
 
Hard because i was full of anger — dare i say hate? — over what i saw. Over what my family of color was facing in Charlottesville.
 
Hard because the love of my life is Black. Hard because i worry about her safety more than i worry and care about mine. Hard because people hold so much hate in their bodies that they are willing to drive cars into people like her, that support her, and end their lives.
 
Hard because people refuse to call these assholes what they are: KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, and home grown terrorists.
 
Hard because we have a joke in the one position we all turn to for leadership and guidance. Who would rather choose to say things like “many sides” than blast the truth — one side, his side.
 
Hard because i don’t want to live in the direction the world is going.
 
Hard because i wanted to retaliate in the only way i felt i could — by hating all white people.
 
And hard because i know better. That hate does not absolve hate. That blanket generalities kill faster than sticks and stones break bones. That hating the all is the not answer to condemning the few.
 
But it’s hard not to choose hate when you’re staring at the face of it. It’s hard to see love when i remind myself that it is my people, my wife that they are attacking . . . that they are hating . . . that they are killing.
 
And it’s hard to be the ‘better person’ when your life is at stake.
 
So i allow myself to feel all these things because they are mine. Because they are a valid response to the times. And i feel it all. Deeply.
 
But then i remind myself of what Hemingway knew so clearly, the sun also rises. And i remember that i am more than my hate. i am more than any of this that i’m feeling. WE are MORE than any of this. And i remind myself that i can keep my anger while shedding my hate.
 
Anger is the tool; hate is the oppressor. 
 
Anger is the action; hate is the terrorist.
 
And i refuse to become one of them. Ever.
 
So i resolve to create change the only way i know how: through art. Through words. Through sharing. Through random acts of kindness for strangers.
 
Yes, i am still angry. But i am no longer hating. 
 
And that seems like a healthy place to begin.
 
Love, light + solidarity to all my family of color,

xo-

 

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