A Call to Action: Beyond Hatred

It occurs to me that most white people don’t identify with their latent racist thoughts and assumptions because they don’t identify with the word “hate”. For the middle-class white person, “hate” is too strong a word. 

Instead, what we experience is labeled “distrust”: A black person in a white neighborhood must be up to no good. Two black people, and they’re definitely up to no good. A black person knocking on the porch door — a danger. A group of black children — disruptive. A black person in power — must have a racial agenda. A black person reaching for his drivers’ license — a threat. A group of black people congregating in the street — a riot. A group of black people arming themselves and standing in front of the state capital — an insurrection. Distrust may be more dangerous than hatred here, because it’s easier to justify to ourselves.

We have to face ourselves and question the assumptions we make every day. We have to question the reflexive fear of the Other. Would we react that way to a white person in a similar interaction?

Our distrust is digging people-sized holes in the fabric of society and nullifying our fellow humans in this world. It feeds into the hatred of the people we’re comfortable with calling racist. 

We must address our daily mistrust. Humanity is at stake.

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