We Americans are proud of some ugly traits, but in my humble opinion, being proud of our hate is top three. It might even beat being proud of our ignorance. Our pride is foolish.
I’m not proud of much. I’m not even proud to be a resister. What’s to be proud of? It’s literally the least I can do to agree that the corruption and fascists in our government have GOT. TO. GO. It’s literally doing the minimum when it comes to civic duty for me to go out and vote (or to vote by mail) every opportunity I get. I’m not even proud of my other efforts, marching, correspondence, etc. And I sure as hell wouldn’t be proud if I hated someone.
I don’t hate anyone.
I check Twitter and Facebook at least a couple of times a day, partly so I can know what people there are talking about, their concerns and some current headlines, but also so I can learn and maybe find inspiration. Even during these months while I have been dealing with huge upheaval in my life – marriage, buying a house, the pandemic, Mom’s cancer diagnosis, moving, Mom’s death, not being able to gather with family to celebrate her life because of the pandemic – I still check in. Being stuck at home, social media is often my only link to other human beings other than my wonderful, patient husband, of course. I know I’m not alone from the posts I read every day.
This whole thing has been tough on people, the pandemic on top of us already being at a tipping point when it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement, women again taking steps forward (as well as steps back due to the current administration) toward equality, and the fight against fascism in our country. Emotions are high. We need each other. We miss being able to gather. Even us introverts can benefit from being with or near others, especially people we love and who love us. We listen and learn, commiserate, blow off steam. We’re parts of groups, families, with common interests or goals. I have my video game groups, my actual family, my brother (family group, but also friend group and gaming group), friends from way back, people who love food/cooking, gardeners, etc. All the circles on our Venn Diagrams have separated, for now. We are alone. We are own little socially-distanced circles while we wait as patiently as we can for the world to get back to “normal” so the circles can overlap once again.
We come into our groups from common interests or goals, things we like, things we want to do, but those groups aren’t always going to help us get where we’re going. The “He-Man Womun Haters Club” on the show “The Little Rascals” comes to mind. Now, I realize that old show is fiction (and problematic on many levels), but we have “clubs” like it now. Hell, you can get that sign from their club on a face mask. Today. It’s supposed to be cute, I guess? Anyway, some like the KKK, Nazis, and other white nationalist organizations are obviously dangerous and even a bit silly like the club on that old kid’s show, but the problems with them are obvious as are the problems with their individual members. Being a group based on hate and fear is destructive. There is nothing constructive about hating and/or fearing other humans and expecting, even pressuring, others to hate and fear the same people so that you can collectively oppress individuals in those groups.
I am a resister and have a Twitter account for this blog (@GrayMattersTwit). It’s not a resister account per se, but I do tend to follow back resisters. My reasoning is that we are working toward the same goals: to get the fascists out of our government and to work toward equality and justice for all people in the USA. The work doesn’t end when Trump is out of our House. The work is ongoing since the founding of the nation. We’re going to want to be in contact with each other for years to come as our work continues.
A problem I find with some of these resisters is that they use the title – and perhaps they’re also doing the work; I have no way of knowing – but they use their accounts to proudly proclaim who all they hate. They hate Trump. They hate McConnell. They hate Barr or Kavanaugh or Jordan. They hate this pundit and that pundit and blah blah blah, hate hate hate. Rather than using their platform to share ideas and progress and help each other toward our common goals, they use their voice and platform to brag about who they hate. What does that help? What can it accomplish?
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.”― Maya Angelou
Hate is not a solution.
Hate is destructive. It harms the person who feels it. Their hate can harm their target, though usually not in the ways they hope. Meanwhile, it consumes them, and it can harm those around them, the people they care about. All these people who claim to hate Trump don’t seem to recognize that their hate isn’t going to accomplish anything positive. It hasn’t, and it won’t. He’s still there. And Trump’s still ugly with hate for people who need protection from his hate. Hate will not drive out hate. Rather than choosing love and using it to offer support for the targets of Trump’s hate, rather than pushing their lawmakers to do the work, to put protections in place, these ugly, hateful resisters sit in their homes, stirring and growing their hate, and they send more hate out onto the ‘net, out into the world.
We don’t need more hate; what we need is less.
I don’t have a lot of time here. None of us do. We have much to do in a short time. With my precious time, I’ve decided to look at the world as it is now, consider what our collective goals as a society are, and then determine what is missing, what we need more of. I believe what we need most right now is truth and love. I believe truth and love will get us much closer to the resisters’ goals of getting the fascists out of our government and working toward equality and justice for all people in the USA. I know that hate will not move us forward toward these goals. How do I know? Because we already tried it; hate is what we’ve tried for more than 240 years. The only progress we’ve made in that time is when a group tried something else, when they stood up to hate, to lying, to cruelty.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The ugliness and the lying help nobody. My goals remain to drive out the fascists, their poison, the darkness, the ugliness, the hate. I will stand against hate. I choose truth. I choose love.
What do you choose?
P.S. If your religion is telling you to hate, get another religion. It’s your own made-up friend you worship, anyway. Why would you choose a hateful invisible friend when you can choose a loving friend?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope this post made you think about what you put out into the world and how the words you use affect your thinking. *hugs*
My Patreon if you are so inclined. Your financial support is much appreciated!
Link: Expect More, Part One – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Only Love – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
TL;DR: Hate poisons us, consumes us, divides us. Even the word is ugly and strong and destructive in our minds. Choose your words, even those you use in your thoughts, carefully as they become you, your emotions. The poison of hate helps nobody and solves no problems. Make a conscious effort to direct anger where it can do good. Choose love.