Thursday, July 7, 2016

Love > Hate

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. - Martin Luther King Jr.

More tragedy spills out on American streets and darkens American souls:

Philando Castile shot dead by a police officer over a broken tail light.

Peaceful protests in Dallas interrupted by intentional fire that leaves four police officers dead. 

President Obama tells America that we all have to do better.

The Washington Post echoes a familiar sentiment: white people must take responsibility for dismantling white supremacy.

Like most Americans, I recoil from this news with heartbreak and horror. This is no way to live. The petty differences of race are literally superficial; our hearts and minds and souls are meant to be united as fellow humans.

The idea that we should judge one another by the color of our skin is surely evil.

But I don't feel confused or corrupted by this evil. I know exactly how I will respond to this latest affront to human decency.

I will keep doing what I'm already doing.

I will treat every human being who crosses my path with dignity and friendliness and human kindness.
Just as I greet the groups of black and white boys skateboarding behind my local high school. I look at their faces and they look at mine; we smile and say hi to each other.  
Just as I keep Ranger close to me when we pass the older Asian gentleman on our walk because I know he's afraid of my dog. 
Just as I count down the days of Ramadan with my Malaysian friends and share their holiday spirit. 
Just as I offer my unopened soda to my African-American airport shuttle driver in Detroit, and listen attentively as he tells me stories about his visits to Seattle. 
Just as I show my deepest gratitude to Asian friends who host me in their homes.  
Just as I relax and enjoy the comfortable silence with my black seat partner on a flight to LAX, occasionally bumping elbows on the armrest or nudging past him as I climbed in and out of the seat.   
Just as I share a special greeting with a teenage girl in my neighborhood. She's black, overweight, and has a killer fashion style which I often compliment.  
These are the ways that I choose to fight back against the anger and racism and hatred and intolerance that threatens to poison our beautiful country and our very souls.

And I share these examples not as an excuse to hold myself up, or as laundry list of things I've done for "those" kind of people.

I simply believe that the solution to our problems lies not in policies or protests, not in legislation or lawsuits.

With all my heart, I believe that we must love one another.

Person to person. Face to face. One human being at a time.

Because I believe that in the end, this is the kind of love that will surely conquer hate.

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