“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
These last few weeks, I’ve been intrigued by the concept of hate. I’ll admit hate is a topic that I really don’t understand. I’ve never hated anyone and to my knowledge never been hated. So, it’s a feeling and emotion that’s unfamiliar to me and a concept that’s hard to wrap my head around. To me, it’s unfathomable that someone could hate someone they don’t know based on their skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or whatever. Why are those that hate concerned with what others do, who there are, or what they look like? How is that even possible? Why does it matter to them? Why is it their business? I just don’t understand how-who someone is or what some does-would affect another so much that it CONJURES UP HATE within.
Hatred is conviction deeply rooted in one’s psyche. It’s defined as –an intense feeling or a passionate dislike for someone or something. It’s my belief that hate is a taught emotion and a learned behavior. YES TAUGHT!!! Hate is also an emotion and a feeling that I’ve never personally experienced. Certainly, as an African American woman, I’ve experienced hate based on skin tone and know that it does indeed exists. However, despite having parents that lived through Jim Crow, we weren’t taught or encouraged to hate anyone based on our differences. Instead, we were taught-understanding, sharing, compassion, respect, diversity, and love. We were raised to demand and command respect, and to judge people based on how we were treated. So I was never taught how to hate. I didn’t have anyone to teach me or whose hatred behavior I could model and as a result, I never acquired the skills necessary to CONJURE UP HATE.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of people that after getting to know them, I’ve strongly disliked but not deep enough to hate. Actually, I’ve never met anyone or encountered a situation that required me to tap into those hate-filled emotions. In essence, I’ve never developed or experienced the kind of internal emotions-rage, anger, jealousy, self-doubt, self-hatred, and fear that are necessary to CONJURE UP HATE.
Life’s varied experiences have taught me that I don’t have a propensity to hate and that I don’t have a hateful bone within my body. Even though the reasons behind all of these protests are infuriating, I’ve discovered that I am incapable of CONJURING UP HATE. Even though I am outraged that over 1,000 African American men and women are killed at the hands of the police every year, I am incapable of CONJURING UP HATE. Even though I feel the economic sting of systemic racism designed to favor whites over African Americans, I am incapable of CONJURING UP HATE. Even though I am frustrated that I live in a country where citizens must continually be reminded that Black Lives Matter, I am still incapable of CONJURING UP HATE.
Trust and believe that my incapability to CONJURE UP HATE is NOT in deference to whites, nor is it because of my personal strength, my incapability to CONJURE UP HATE is simply attributed to the realization that…. .GOD IS LOVE!!!
SHIP TALK: Have you ever hated someone? Why?
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