My heart is heavy, filled with a darkness I cannot describe.
Every moment my love, hope, and passion for people is whittled away by the evil in the streets. Every moment, I feel myself bracing for the worst, and as the worst comes, I am no longer surprised.
I am no longer surprised by the growing darkness, or by the people whom I once thought of as loving, caring people, revealing themselves to be a part of the darkness.
I am no longer surprised by hate growing astronomically day by day by day. By the white supremacist symbols and statements spray painted on a schoolyard in Markham, Ontario. Or by violent protests, and poor, tasteless memes and Facebook posts. By white people, who have ruled, enslaved, conquered, defeated, eradicated, and silenced other voices for the better part of our history, now claiming that we are in fact the ones who have been discriminated against.
That, despite having more rights, more freedoms, and more–dare I say it–privileges than many of any other skin colour, we are somehow losing out on more. We are somehow the ones who are being persecuted, eradicated, and erased.
It’s ludicrous. Yet there it is.
Of course, these people represent a minority. Of course, they are not the largest group of whites in the world. But right now, they are the loudest. And despite what some would like you to think, ignoring their voices does not make them go away.
Silence is complacency.
Like any movement, it starts with a drop of water, a ripple in the pond. Silence does not stifle a ripple, it does not interrupt the ebb and flow. If history has taught us anything, those fueled by this kind of darkness are never satisfied. Silence merely makes them scream louder. It drives them to make themselves look bigger and appear to be in greater numbers than they actually are.
If, in any way, you doubt the legitimacy of the level of hatred, violence, and evil shown by neo-nazis and white supremacists alike during the protest, watch the video footage by Vice News and Katie Couric. In an attempt to give these protesters a voice, to show why they need to be heard, what was revealed was far darker and more troubling than most want to admit.
I believe a large part of the unwillingness to accept just how awful this really is has to do with how far removed we have become from this kind of evil. It’s easy for us to fear the hate and denounce it when it is terrorists from another culture; not so much when those terrorists look, dress, live, and speak like us.
And I get it. It’s been more than 70 years since the last world war; 70 years without nazis in the streets pushing their agenda. Because of that, it can be so easy to convince ourselves the threat isn’t real, the darkness isn’t as bad, these people are just a fraction of voices.
But they are real. They are here. They are growing in numbers every day.
Now is not the time for complacency. It is not the time for silence.
It is most definitely not the time to roll over and wait for it to pass in the hopes that this was nothing more than words. This stopped being words the moment one of these nazis drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters at 60 mph, killing Heather Heyer and injuring many others.
I’d like to believe love is enough to stop this. I’d like to believe with my whole heart that responding with compassion and kindness, with not letting it affect us, will bring all the evil to a screeching halt. Often, what we would like to believe simply doesn’t work with reality.
I’m willing to have a conversation. If you claim you’re not a nazi or a white supremacist, but you see where they are coming from, and speak out more against the ‘left’ or ‘Antifa’, because you think they’re worse, I’m willing to listen, and to try to talk about how we can conquer hate together.
But if you’re not willing to denounce the nazis, denounce the white supremacists, and acknowledge that their ideals are far more dangerous, divisive, and exclusive than those seeking for equal rights (whether or not they are seeking it the right way), then I have no interest in talking to you.
I have no interest in having you in my life. I have no interest in words, in relationships, in anything with you.
If you feel in any way that defending a nazi or a white supremacist is justified, or your only response is ‘but Antifa!’ ‘but the left!’, then there’s no room for conversation.
Hate is hate.
Evil is evil.
Darkness is often mistaken as the light.
This is no longer about Conservative monuments, or statues, or names, or history. It’s about hate–it’s about the same ideals that have fueled genocides, terrorism, wars, and evil for centuries.
And in case none of this is clear enough for you, none of this is blunt enough, then here it is, one more damn time.
It’s 2017 and a woman was killed in America because of fucking nazis.
Nazis. In 2017. Killing people.
If you can’t denounce this evil, if you can’t stand up and say this is not okay, then I have no words for you. Other than, I will pray for you. I will pray for a softened heart, and for you to truly experience, recognize, and one day understand, love, compassion, and how awful evil is. But don’t be fooled. This isn’t my saying I want you around. This isn’t me saying I am okay with anything of what you do.
Because here’s the final truth bomb of my post. I don’t pray for you because my heart hurts for you or because I believe you are worth it. I pray for you because of one simple reason–the Bible asks us to pray for our enemies. And you are my enemy.
It also calls for us to love you, but right now, I can’t.
I’m not a big enough person, and I accept that. But if nothing else, I will pray for you.