noun ha·tred \ˈhā-trəd\
1: extreme dislike or disgust : hate
2: ill will or resentment that is usually mutual : prejudiced hostility or animosity
noun prej·u·dice \ˈpre-jə-dəs\
1: preconceived judgment or opinion
2: an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
3: an instance of such judgment or opinion.
4: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics
I posted these definitions to point out something key in the use of the word hatred. Usually mutual. I can hate broccoli which is definition number one because I’m pretty certain broccoli could give two fucks about if it likes me or not. However, we are definitely looking at the second definition with regards to the rise of facism and violence over the past year or so.
There have always been people who felt in their heart of hearts that I, as a person of colour (off-beige), deserve less than they get in life. Less money, less rights, and in some cases, even less life because they truly want other people to die. Solely because of the colour of their skin, the name of their God and anything else that is not exactly fitting into the box they’ve built in their mind.
These people are no longer afraid of the light. They have crawled out from under their rock, taken off their hoods and masks and are now walking amongst us carrying tiki torches and guns. They have murdered in the past. Do not forget this. This is a continuation of the murdering of millions abroad and countless thousands at home. These are the people who hung Emmett Till, shot Martin Luther King Jr. and interned Japanese-Americans. They beat to death Matthew Shepard, killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and slaughtered 49 people as they danced and celebrated life in Orlando. And one, in particular, mowed down a group of people, killing a vibrant, young woman named Heather Heyer.
They carry flags of symbols they’ve stolen from other cultures, warping them into iconic imagery we now equate with death. They carry them so we fear their approach. They hope that if they carry these symbols we will hide away, that we will cower and scatter. They scream and strike, thinking their numbers will shield them, hide their identities and they can march freely against us, trampling our freedom and steal the rights we’ve all fought so hard and long to obtain.
See the thing is, those rights are ours. They were ours to begin with. Sadly, we are still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to be ratified despite it being a work in progress since back in the 1920s but still, these are all of our rights. This speaks to the struggle we seem to have as a nation to accept ALL people are created equal. We are literally still fighting to erect the foundation stones of what our country was built on.
And now these assholes come along and try to tear our house down.
They’ve always been there. These malignant termites who lurk in the darkness. Their hatred and prejudice are self-aggrandizing fantasies they are working very hard to make a reality. Not because they want to protect their culture. Our skin colours do not dictate who we are as people, our actions and our thoughts do. “White” isn’t a culture. “White” isn’t an identity. These people are no more “White” than I am “Yellow” or “Brown”. “White” doesn’t define a person or make them better than the person next to them and no matter how loud these parasites scream they are being oppressed, they are not.
People are more than the colour of their skin.
These people are simply being told… we will not stand idle while you kill, subjugate and terrorize us and they are angry we refuse to lie down in the dirt so they can slaughter who we are, what we are and how we live. They seek to drive us into the shadows, hoping we will cow before them but we will not. We CANNOT. Not because we deserve better than what they want for us. No, that’s not it at all. We cannot let their prejudice survive because we want better for their children as well as ours. We can only move forward as a species if we are all reaching for the same goals, for the same stars, for the same dreams.
What do I want? I don’t have children. I will never have children. But that doesn’t mean I intend to leave the world without thinking about its future or about the people in it.
I want everyone to have the luxury of going home at night to their families, regardless of how that family looks. I want the children of these families to learn about other people and embrace other cultures, eat their foods and learn their language. I want people to look at someone’s differences and be curious not dismissive or incite hatred. And most of all, I’d like us to stop killing each other as if we are animals fighting for survival around a single watering hole.
There are enough rights and life for everyone here. Equality is like space, it is infinite. It is not a cup of sugar to be doled out sparingly among the privileged or a select arbitrary group. It cannot be made less because someone is afforded the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You cannot have less rights because the person next to you has the same as you do. That’s not how it works.
So, hatred. I can hate broccoli although I don’t. I can hate bitter melon, which I do. But hating someone because their existence threatens yours? It is, in essence, irrational. And while we cannot argue with the insanity that is bigotry and prejudice, we can stand against its violence, refuse to let them grab a hold of our society and say no to their theft of our rights. We cannot afford to let this stupidity slink back into the shadows. We cannot allow those who represent us to be silent in this war of words and blood. People have died because of these rancid beliefs, this mindset and if we do not stand against them, many more will follow.
What we can allow—what we must allow—is space next to one another for us to all exist together in peace. There is enough room for everyone at the world’s table and we need to fight to make sure everyone has a seat.