I received a letter recently in my mailbox addressed to me, but that didn’t have a stamp on the envelope. Inside was a four-page letter printed onto manila-colored cardstock. At the top, in bold, was a man’s name, Morris […]. Underneath was a quote by famed white supremacist, David Duke. It was enough to toss the whole thing until I noticed “Dear Friend” following the remark. I admit it peaked my curiosity as to why the KKK-camp thought we were friends? I read on.
The first page consisted of a list of racially based atrocities going on around the country due to newly elected President Trump, and the letter wasn’t from a neo-Nazi group, but from Morris […], a lawyer, soliciting a $25 gift donation, to help stop the hate. Seriously?
I’m no fan of Trump—not even a little bit, however, how is Morris Dot-dot-dot any better? Making a list of hate crime happenings is just as bad. Don’t get me wrong I believe they’re going on. I know that they are atrocious, too. But are they happening as much and by as many people that this list suggests? I’m not so sure about that. Is a rise in hate and hate-related crimes escalating? Yes, of course, it is! But why?
Hate has two prongs to it; elicited fear and encouraged attacks. Blaming a specific race for the state of our country is an attack that fills people with fear. Doesn’t mailing out a letter, “shedding light” on instances, also inciting global hopelessness, do the same thing? Both are polarizing people with scare tactics, and I’m not about to participate in either.
What’s frustrating to me about the letter is that someone put it in my mailbox—the non-existence of a stamp indicates that it wasn’t a general mailer. Said person probably delivered it to me because I have a son who is African-American, and I am not. This person probably thought they were helpful and proactive, too.
You’re not. Distributing hate, via news program, literature, and even mail, isn’t useful. Letting something like this stop with you is the proactive approach.
I’m not suggesting we ignore the problems of our country, or those terrible things happening to others aren’t real. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter where I’m from, or what color mine or my kids’ skin color is. What’s important to remember is that I’m a human being, along with everybody else. The only way that’s going to change is if we participate in propaganda and engage in acts that are inhuman.
So the next time you read or hear something that scares you, step back. Take a breather. Think about it before you pass it on. One person cannot make hate great, it takes a mob to do so. One person can, however, curb the size the mob gets—let that someone be you.