This past weekend, I watched in disbelief and horror as a crowd of hateful, racist White people marched on Charlottesville, VA to protest the removal of a Confederate monument and spread their false message of racial superiority. It was all fueled by disgusting hatred and a particularly sickening miseducation passed down to them by their elders who have held onto this disturbing belief that their hatred is blessed by God and in the best interests of the world we live in. It all culminated in the untimely, brutal death of Heather Heyer, a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting against injustice.
As a Black American, and for any minority in the US, it is natural for us to feel fear. It is natural for us to begin questioning whether or not we’re safe, wonder if your Caucasian neighbors, coworkers or friends harbor such hatred towards you beneath the surface. There were friends of mine who were truly afraid to leave the house. To this, I have one point of advice:
Don’t give in.
Be observant. Be vigilant. But do not be afraid.
The mission of these racist groups is to scare us into submission and to make us second-guess our worth in the eyes of God and within ourselves. Let me be loud and clear: God made all colors, races and nationalities beautiful in their own right, and out of love. He didn’t make a mistake when he made me Black, you Latino, yet another Jewish and yet another one Asian. He saw beauty and He loves us all.
Further, keep being kind. Keep holding doors open, being a listening ear and helping your family, friends and neighbors. No act of kindness, great or small, goes to waste in a time of crisis.
The supremacists in that marched on Charlottesville, VA are a movement of fear and hatred. The only way we can effectively combat this is to be a movement of love.
Choose love over fear.
Choose love over anger.
Choose love over injustice.
Choose love. All day. Every day. Every time.