America. 2017. pic.twitter.com/idE2JK8Jtn
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 12, 2017
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I am sick to my stomach.
Or, maybe it’s heartsick.
Either way, I have been feeling nauseated all day.
By all the hate.
Out there in the open.
Where, perhaps it always was, but I didn’t see. Maybe I chose not to see.
Friends of mine have dealt with it for years. Their whole lives, really. Or their children’s whole lives.
Because of the color of their skin. Or because they were born gay.
I cannot possibly understand what they have gone through every day of their lives.
While I sit in my world of white privilege—and only have to feel sick to my stomach about it once a week.
And now? Today?
When I see the images on television, I think, “Surely now, others will start to feel as outraged as I am.”
Which is probably how my friends and family have felt about my lack of outrage in the past, when I had no way of understanding what they live with every day.
I always see the same friends and family sharing the educational or call-to-action posts. Expressing their anger and sadness over the hate, and the violence, and the horrific treatment of others deemed less than.
Others who simply want what we all should have. What they deserve. What we all deserve.
I don’t share as much as these friends of mine. Mostly because—ironically—I feel like I don’t have the words.
I don’t know statistics, and in some cases, I admit, I am ignorant of historical facts.
All I have is my feelings. And the deep sadness of watching what is happening to our country.
I am so grateful to those friends for sharing their words, and voicing what I have been unable to voice.
I see you. And I hear you. Thank you for saying what I have not been able to say.
I also hear my other friends and family. Equally loud.
In their deafening silence.
Those who voted “for change” and passionately insisted it did not mean they were condoning hate.
Who said they would not stand by and let hate and bigotry happen.
They simply would not stand for it.
I hear you, too.
I hear you as loudly and as clearly as I hear my outspoken friends who are fighting for equality and justice.
Because your silence is deafening.
I want to believe that, like me, you just can’t find the words.
That, like me, you are too sick to your stomach to even begin to process the hateful acts, let alone speak out about them.
Sometimes I even let myself wonder if you are silent because you regret your vote.
And then I immediately wonder if the opposite is true. Are you silent because you are happy with the direction our country is taking and are just too afraid to admit it?
Because you can’t possibly believe that the hate that is raging in our country is unrelated to our leader.
Are you not as shocked as I am that the white supremacists gathering in Virginia in the name of hate are so completely unashamed of their actions that they are not even covering their faces?
The tone has been set for our country by our leader, and there are a lot of hateful people who now feel free to express that hate openly and violently.
— AltNSA (@AltNatSecAgency) August 12, 2017
And you are silent.
Just as I was.
Well, I will be silent no more.
I am going to work harder to find the words to express how inhumane this is.
Because all this hate?
It is being targeted at human f*cking beings.
It is not free speech to call my family member a “faggot” because he was born gay.
He is still a human being.
It is not okay for anyone else to debate where my transgender friend can go to the bathroom or whether or not he should be allowed to fight for our country.
He is still a human being.
It is not okay to target Muslims simply because of their religion.
They are still human beings.
And if all that wasn’t enough, I cannot believe that in 2017, we are still talking about someone’s skin color.
It is the f*cking color of their skin. It is not their heart. It is not their soul. It is in no way indicative of the person that they are. It is the color of their skin—and only the color of their skin.
And my friend’s children who get quietly intimidated at school by classmates wearing shirts with the confederate flag on them?
They are human f*cking beings.
Enough is f*cking enough.
I, for one, will do better to not be so silent—and to stand up for my fellow human beings. Thankfully, I am not the only one speaking out.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 12, 2017
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
Like those University of Virginia students who stood together against the hate in the middle of their campus last night. Those kids could teach me a lot about bravery.
Not to mention all those amazing human beings who face hatred every day of their lives.
I’m going to do better by them.
By all of us.
What about you?
“Instead of running away, we work harder. Instead of fighting, we peace harder. Instead of fighting hate with hate, we…love harder.” ~ Waylon Lewis
Author: Christy Williams
Editor: Travis May
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