Hate Has No Place #Charlottesville
What's happening around us is tragic and it has to stop. I asked a few people their thoughts on Charlottesville and these are their responses. Read. Reflect. Change
“Everyday my biggest hope is that I am not oblivious to what's happening around me. That my African American lifestyle dipped in a little white privilege has not blinded me to my surroundings. See I grew up with no struggles. My parents worked hard to give me everything I needed and most of what I wanted. I went to predominately white schools and had many white friends. I had the same luxuries as all of my white peers. And if there were ever a struggle I was unaware of it. See, my upbringing could easily cause me to sweep a lot of things under the rug but we now live in a nation where there is no more room under the rug. Racism is prominent in our society and I don't want to miss it. I don't want to be a bystander ignoring the aid of our people. Every month something is in the headlines about race and to say its 2017 I feel so much hurt and disappointment from our country. Who is gonna fight for us; alongside us. Who is gonna speak up on behalf of us that is not one of us. Who is gonna recognize that shit just isn't right and that it has to change. We are fighting a battle of love and hate and We cannot do it alone. Hate simply cannot win. Hate is not supposed to it's not in its job description. Hate dwells only in the absence of love and our country will forever be this way because they never loved us we were simply tolerated. Merely an updated rule in the instructions of the game. I've never felt so unwanted or cared about in my entire life. And to know that this country will never love me for me, but will hate me because of my skin is the most saddening thing ever.” Julian Major
“Since the events on Saturday in Charlottesville, I've struggled with how to put my feelings into words. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, I just haven't really figured out how to say it.
To be honest, I still haven't.
I still haven't figured out how to put into words my level of disgust that people could hate other people so much. I still haven't figured out how someone could be so ignorant to look at another person that you know nothing about and have hate in your heart for them because they look different than you. My mind still can't come up with words to express the level to which I disagree with the notion that one person's life holds more value than another, simply because of the color of their skin.
While I wish I had the words to describe my thoughts and emotions, I also understand that without the equity and influence that comes with acting on the things I believe, they would inevitably fall short of having the impact I could hope for anyways.
So while I search for words, I'm just going to do my best to let my actions be my response to how this weekend's events, and the countless others before it, have made me feel.
I hope that as a husband, a father, and a friend I can love the people around me in a way that makes them feel important. I hope that I can listen to them in a way that makes them feel valued. And I hope that I can lead them in a way that helps them see that the greatest opportunities in their life will be on the other side of them saying yes to Jesus and yes to loving others, ALL others, as they would want to be loved.
My conviction is that if I can treat the people I do life with like that no matter what their relation to me is, their gender is, their color is, their beliefs are, and any other thing that would be considered a difference between us -- if I can do those things in spite of those differences, then I think I can do my part in making this world a better place than it was on August 12th, 2017.” Jordan Green
“I really don't understand fully what happened honestly but from what I did see and do understand, I just can't understand how ANYBODY of ANY color or whatever visual differences can think another person is less of a person because of their color, money status, clothes, whatever. Nothing in my brain thinks that way and so it always surprises me when this happens even though it shouldn't. I hate it with everything I am. And Christians, TRUE Christians need to be standing up to this evil. Like Kaleb said yesterday it is absolutely offensive to the heart of Christ and should be to every Christian. We have to help each other through this life. Our job isn't to hurt each other.” - Ashlee McCreight
“No one is born racist. Racism is built into people. My heart is so torn over the recent events in Charlottesville. I have a genuine love for people, but I don’t want to paint the picture that it is always easy to love people. In the same way that hate is taught, love is also taught. Because of the freedoms we have in America I have been taught overwhelmingly to love people. I have also unfortunately experienced what I would call silent racism. The act of planting seeds of racism behind “good intentions.” The kind of thing where those closest to you would say things like “people around may not understand if you hang around them.” I realized sometime in my teenage years that no human being gets to choose the life that they have. I by no act of will could have determined the color of my skin, the parents I have, the city I grew up in, or the economic status of my family. The only thing I could do was embrace what’s been given me and respond with either love that comes from confidence in my faith, or hate that comes from fear. I choose love. While I love our country I have to embrace that what makes our nation great is not only it’s diversity, but the freedom to express our diversity. I don’t agree with any of the hate groups that have been present not only in Charlottesville, but even here in my own state of South Carolina when we voted to remove the confederate flag from our capitol. While I don’t believe all or even most who were present in the protest were there out of hate I do have to embrace that in America they have the right to protest even if I don’t agree with it. So how do we respond when we embrace freedom through diversity and adversity? How do we respond when more lives have been lost at the price of freedom? We can’t sweep our past under the rug as if it didn’t happen, but we can’t just shake our head and be apathetic about the problems that remain unresolved in our country. The problem isn’t the protest. The problem isn’t the past. The problem isn’t lack of circulation of opinions on social media. The problem isn’t our President. The problem is fear. The way we respond to hate is not just to love the one who hates you, but to pass on to those around you with an open heart that love is greater than fear. We don’t need more facebook confrontations we need more daily conversations with our family and friends. I love that I had the opportunity to sit down with my six year old son and encourage his love for people and cultivate his view of people as being made in the image of God and deserving of love and respect. The more that I can do that and live that the better I leave the world around me. Don’t be silent. Don’t be apathetic. Don’t just make a post and move on. Be different. Talk to the people around you and cultivate love and build bridges within your community that don’t allow hate to grow because of how connected you are in love. A community that plants seeds of love will grow true freedom. If you want to contribute to the cause of freedom stop laughing at the person who tells a racist joke at the store. Stop ignoring people that you pass in public and look people in the eyes and acknowledge they exist. You don’t have to be hateful in response just take action and choose not to participate any further in sowing seeds of fear and hate. Let’s embrace that we come from a broken past as a nation, but we’ve come a long way. The future is literally in our hands. Let our hands be found busy cultivating love that casts out fear.” Andy Roy
“‘I can't believe the news today. I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long, how long must we sing this song? How long, how long?" - U2’
In 2017 it would be nice to believe that "liberty and justice for all" was truly an American standard. Instead #Charlottesville reminds us yet again that we're still broken. Hatred, irrational division and a history forgotten now stand where love and hope should. But not for long. Not on my watch. I won't forget the past, and I won't neglect to look this senseless act in the face & remind those who ever defend it, that ideology has no place here. I will examine my own heart and biases. I will open my arms to those who I differ from and seek to understand. I will one day teach my unborn child the beauty of diversity. We may learn hate, but we were created to love. It's not too late to choose the latter.
"We can be as one..." - U2” - Bridget Gregory
“The current state of our 'beloved' country is sickening. Over the last few days I've tried to process things, I always try to see things from other perspectives but right now I can't. I don't understand how someone can have so much hate in their heart. I don't understand how someone can judge something out of our control like skin color. I don't understand how 'leaders' can stand back and just allow this maddness. I just don't understand.
I'm not a history buff but from what I do know is we have already had this war. It wasn't pretty. And while they say history repeats itself, let's all save some time and look back on how that war ended. The people in Charlottesville claim to be doing this to save a monument of Robert E Lee, but they clearly are missing a point. General Lee fought for something he believed in and when it was done he encouraged other to move on, work together in peace, to become better people. He encouraged the removal of objects that would cause people to hang into the past. Yet here they are fighting for the complete opposite.
This is bigger than a monument.
This is bigger than race, sexual orientation, gender, religion.
This is bigger than a majority of us want to admit.
We live in a world where everyone has to be right. We have to be the best. We have to be the most important. We have to get the most attention. It's all about me, me, me. Sadly most of us are too caught up in our privilege and ignorance to realize that it needs to be more about US.
I AM WHITE. Don't try to tell me it isn't there, I have seen privilege first hand. I've watched someone of a different race be treated differently at the store than I was. I've watched managers throw away applications because of a name. I've watched people in my own family judge other off their race or social status. I've watched hate run rampan as POC, the LGBTQ, and even women stand up for their rights. THIS IS A PROBLEM! This list could go on for days and even worse this problem could be easily fixed.
Our world has a love deficiency. Deficiency by definition is; a lack or shortage, a failing or shortcoming.
Hate is everywhere. Hate the blacks. Hate the gays. Hate the women. Hate the Muslims. Hate the liberals. Hate the families on welfare. Hate woman at the grocery store with loud kids. Hate the cashier at Walmart for something beyond her control. Hate the foreigners running the gas station on the corner. Not to sound cliche but where is the love? Last time I checked I didn't get to select my own race at birth or choose what family I was born into.
We are all human beings and for the most part we all strive for the same thing. Love, happiness, acceptance, success. So imagine if we all put down our torches and pitchforks, got out from behind our keyboards, and did something about it. There are billions of people on this planet, one kind word is all it takes and this could be a different world. Replace the hate, it has no home here.” Kim Courtemanche
“The events in Charlottesville have exposed the world to part of the darkest side of humanity...the side that considers one color, one race, one gender, one ability better than another. For the majority of us, this is not and never has been okay. As functional, compassionate, appropriate adults it is our job to passionately, loudly, continuously object the vile views held by neo-nazis, the far right and other hate groups in their camp. Silence, apathy and indifference have only ever aided evil.
So speak up. Speak loudly. Do not stop. Only when we raise our collective voices for love, for kindness, for justice will hate die.” - Christy Irons
"Their hate can't win. If we stand together with unconditional love, understanding, and genuine support for one another during these troubling times...we win every single time. Hate can't win." Jennings Compton
“Oh no. Not again. It's 2017 and I'm saying 'Not again'. When will this end? When will this racism end? When will this hate end? When will this "not again" end? I know there is a lot of hate, but let's talk about the current events that has swiped our nation's media. Racism. I just don't understand how you can look down on someone just because of the color of their skin. Something that they never picked. They never picked their skin color. I say that again, because at a very young age I saw how people were treated differently. The comments that were made. How they were treated differently. I saw it at a young age and I didn't want to be the person that I was created to be. I wanted to be white. I knew that if I were white I'd get treated differently. I'd get treated fairly. I'd have better opportunities, but as a young kid there I sat hating myself because of the color of my skin. I hated being black. Thank God I got over that hurdle(If you know me personally… you may laugh). I love who I am. I love being black. Do I STILL get followed around in a store because of the color of my skin? Sometimes. Do I still have an unfair advantage to opportunities because of my skin? Absolutely. This is not the country that I want to continue living in. This is not the country that I want my kids and their kids to live in. Something has to change, America. Take action. Be the change.” Darious Smith