You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught!
This song is from “South Pacific” and I have been thinking about it a lot this weekend. Aren’t the words amazing? They often give me chills since they are so insightful of how many people feel. Whether someone is taught to feel a certain way, grows up hearing how awful others are, learns on their own, or decides to hate, it is still wrong and needs to stop.
Those who don’t hate must stand up against it. Instead of hate, we must show love and that all of us are special, all of us are worthy of love, and all of us matter. After the shock of this homegrown terrorism and hate, I am trying to make some sense of it. And, I can’t. I don’t understand wanting to beat up or kill someone who thinks differently than I do. Or looks different than I do.
Instead, I want to chat with different people and find out about them, their interests, their loves, their struggles, and what means something to them. I want to show love and kindness instead of the hate and violence that we saw this weekend. And so does Ian. Above he is pictured with one of his dear friends. We were being arty with the photo.
The people behind the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence are involved in groups that have been around for years and have spread hate and racism for far too long. The KKK’s mission is to harm, beat, intimidate, scare, terrify, lynch, and kill African-Americans. The Nazis wanted to annihilate all Jews and make them cease to exist. They tortured them, tore them from their families, made them starve, destroyed their homes, property and livelihood, and gassed them to death.
And yet people still want to be involved in these groups? They want to belong, and carry out the mission to bring harm to others, just because? What the? I am sickened and saddened to think of all of the people who have been harmed and killed by such evil. I am touched that so many fought and died to make changes and try to stop these acts. I am saddened that people feel that these are still good groups to join.
I just don’t get it. I truly cannot relate to this level of hatred toward one’s fellow man. After all, we are all human, all created equal, and all equally loved by our creator. So, how is this hate possible? How can someone loathe others so deeply and so violently? How can people cause such harm, suffering, and loss to others?
Thankfully, I was taught the value of everyone and had friends of different shades, different races, and different religions. I learned from them and loved them. And, I am thankful that Ian’s friends are all colors of the rainbow. He likes them for their personalities and that he has fun with them not anything external about them.
The title of this blog is in reference to a quote by the amazing civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Dr. King knew that demonstrations could and should be done, but in a peaceful manner without harm to others. He spoke many times of dreams and hopes for the future. He spoke of love, caring, and compassion and knew that hate wouldn’t get us where we need to be.
The full quote by Dr. King is “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
My hope and prayer is that we can come together at this difficult time of our country and stand together. That we can realize we have more in common than not. That we are all colors of a lovely rainbow. That we can learn from different faiths and different ways of life. That we can love and not hate. That we can have peace and not violence or war.