Today’s Huffington Post reports that someone in Austin Texas is putting stickers on doors saying “White People Only”. A Black man was found hanging in a tree. In New York City yesterday, a court refused to release information about Grand Jury deliberations on a police officer who choked a (Black!) man to death and was not charged with anything… People can’t even figure out why and the justice system won’t give them any reason? Isn’t this America? A student (guess what color?) was beaten bloody the other day by police in Virginia.
Racism not only continues to raise its ugly head, but the people doing these things no longer care who knows it. Hopefully the man hung in a tree committed suicide, but that’s hardly helpful. I know people wish I would stop harping about it, but can our society stop giving me things to harp about?
Lest you think I only care about one group of people in our country… Oh, yes, ISIS blew up a bunch of people in massive suicide bombings. And Netanyahu won an election by coming out harder against Palestinians. And the list goes on…It’s the same thing — people talking about, hating, and killing people they don’t know, simply because they are different (or even just perceived as being different)! Hating people because they are gay, or straight or bi — or because we think they are — is just as wasteful of our time. Hating women or the poor — or poor women — is just as stupid — a waste of our time, our energy, and our loved ones. It’s all the same stuff with different names.
Did no one get the memo that we’re supposed to care for each other, rather than kill each other, threaten to kill each other, and generally hate each other?
In this country, the racism continues to sadden, anger and enrage me. I worry for my friends. It is soooo draining. Loving each other, building community, sharing resources with each other so that people have what they need, seeing each other as one species, rather than “us” and “them” or “me” and “everyone else”, are so much on everything. Maybe we could spend our energy curing cancer if we weren’t spending so much time hating other. Maybe we could just have each other over for dinner and have a few treasured moments if we weren’t afraid of those we hate. Maybe we could have money for education if we weren’t spending it on bullets, Maybe we could save money left-and-right if we didn’t have to have people protecting “us” from “them”.
Does anyone know how we got to this place? Does anyone know how to fix it? Is this fun for somebody? If so, how and why? Don’t people have families that they could spend time with? Friends who are human, but different than them in some way? Wouldn’t they like to be home with them, feeling safe and loved?
There’s an old Stevie Wonder song called “Love’s in need of love today” ( I like Joan Osborne’s version of it best) that says “hate’s going around, breaking many hearts” It’s one of those days/months/periods in our history where that is true. The fact that I can give five or six examples in one week proves it’s so. On the other hand, I wouldn’t know about the song or the singer if I wasn’t open to diversity.
So, today, be nice to the concept of love by making it visible and proving it’s real. Exercise your right to open up your hearts, give somebody a hug, tell your children you love them, take care of other people’s children or their elderly, respect people, be open to them, and listen to them. In short, remind people that love works. Care for each other. Be cared for by another. Share food and fellowship with each other, laugh together, cry together, be silent with each other.
I want to wake up tomorrow and see stickers that say “everyone’s welcome here”. I want to see no one hanging from a tree, or being beaten up or threatened, or abused just because they are “different” in some way. I want to wake up tomorrow with the Israelis and Palestinians wanting to work together and actually doing it, to create a two-state solution. I want the news to say that no one thought their politics or their religion or their gender was so important they killed for it. I want no one to blow up anybody for a while, maybe forever. There are going to be cynics who will say, “It’ll never happen” or “it can’t happen as soon as tomorrow”. I don’t believe it. I’m done believing in hate’s power. I’m just done with it. If we can have a war overnight, we can have peace overnight. If we can have killings in the middle of the night, we can have sleep in the middle of the night. If we can be mean and snide to each other via the media, we can choose to be otherwise, and act on it.
So think about what would happen if Israel and Palestine worked out a solution and no one died over there. Imagine what it would be like if no cop beat up another person for 24 hours. Picture no one starting a new war, and no one fighting any old wars tomorrow. Picture not needing to worry about walking through a certain section of town because you know you’ve treated them well and they all have enough food and water and clothing and shelter and know that they are loved by somebody. Think about going to the airport and not needing to go through the TSA checkout, because there is no need for a war on terror. This is what love can do.
If, when you picture those things, you feel all warm and happy, know that’s how you’ll feel when you make it a reality. This hate thing is just so exhausting, let’s do something else.
I’m tired of being tired, and sad, and angry, and dumbstruck by the the events of the world.
So let’s try for ….Peace,