Hating the Hate

B0017Today I was literally knocked over by all of the hate in the world.

There were two separate “religious” organizations on campus today preaching “God’s word” through hate. Hate the gays, hate the Muslims, hate those who hate our words, etc. I did not even engaged the men who were preaching yet as I walked past one shouted my way.

“You should be ashamed, foul temptress!  God hates your sinful ways!  Repent!”

All this evil because I decided to wear a low-cut shirt today.  He doesn’t know anything about me yet he judges me with one breath and in the next he professes only God can judge.

I have always believed that you can’t teach a pig to sing.  No amount of discourse will ever change my way of thinking and likewise, I will never be able to change this man’s beliefs.  Since these groups always appear on campus I’ve developed a thick skin and continue to ignore the razors they profess to be the teachings of God.

Then I walked past another group, a non-religious political action group, that wants to help the people in Ferguson.  While I admire their desire to better the community I was overcome with grief because their efforts will be in vain.  I’m a Saint Louis native.  For twenty-one year I lived and breathed the stagnant air that surrounds the politics of race in Saint Louis.  To help the people in Ferguson will take so much more than these young activists realize.

These kids have never even set foot in Ferguson, let alone the state of Missouri, so they have no concept of the racial discrimination that is so deeply rooted in that area.  It is embedded in generations and is passed down like a family heirloom to children and grandchildren.  In order to help Ferguson, they must help the surrounding area shed the segregation that has caused a divide that runs wide and deep.

I am usually fairly unflappable but today the hate spewing from so many directions, near and far, was too much.  I was suddenly so overcome with grief that I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.  I had to take a step back and think about all the good there is in the world right now.

I doubt the world will ever “make love, not war” but that doesn’t mean I have to let the negativity being me down with it.  Hate is everywhere these days and I hate it.  From now on I will make a conscious effort to dispel the hate from my own life and I will work harder at making the existence of others a more positive experience as well.

I hope you will join me.

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