When an individual, a sect, a clique or a nation
hates and despises another individual, sect, clique or nation,
he or they simply do not know the objects of their hatred.
Ignorance is at the bottom of it.
I am just about fed the fuck up with hate these days… I’m up to my neck in it and the interesting thing is that the more revved up I get in response to hate, the more hateful I am feeling. I am reminded of a recent article about the shadow in all of us and there is such truth in this. I do not want to wallow in the hate – don’t want to get so accustomed to its taste in my mouth that I develop an appetite for it.
I keep trying to see the me in other people. As a sociologist, I tend to scope people out and watch them… pick apart the why and the how they came to be who they are today.
When a young man slaughtered my sisters and brothers in Orlando, I did some of that. Who was he? Why did he do this? Why that club? Why that night?
But then I began reading comments from folks. Random folks. Anonymous people sprinkled across the planet. Some comments expressed fear and sadness, others were simply horrified, but the others? They reveled in the carnage. They expressed joy at the killing of fags and freaks. They quotes scripture. They made my stomach turn. They tapped into my own hatred. That scared me more than a little.
All of the sudden, it became we. We were attacked… I was part of it. It could happen to me. It was us or them. That’s a horrible place to land… that’s not how I want to live my life.
We will – well most of us – have no difficulty vilifying the shooter. He wasn’t created in a vacuum, though. He is part religious fervor, part political activist, part extremist, part homophobe, part misogynist, part abuser… these things we know about him. But why the hell do we focus on the Islamic Terrorist aspect? People fed his hatred. His hatred was cultivated and nurtured in a system (both a religious one and in his country-of-origin… yup… because he is good old American-born-and bred).
My question is this: why do we so quickly make him “the other” as if we have no ownership of him or his crazed ideas? I ask in all sincerity, what is the fucking difference between these two men?
They share many things… Religious fervor? Check. Just a different god. Adherence to a deity that demands loyalty? Check. Belief in strict gender roles? Check. Hatred has issued from both mouths and both advocate VIOLENCE against those in the GLBT community. Yup, so why don’t we drag Dr. James Dobson out into the town square NOW… why not put him in stocks and berate him? Why not lock him up before he stirs up more hatred? Why on earth are so many Americans accepting of the guy who advocates violence when that guy has the label “Christian” stitched into his suits? Why are we so quick to rant and rave against the gunmen but so reluctant to pass judgment on our society which continues to marginalize and demonize those who are “abnormal” by the definitions which have been twisted and translated within an inch of their lives in sacred texts bound in leather and embossed with holy symbols. I don’t care if you call your god Allah or Yahweh or f’in Sutekh, the moment you take your human mouth and espouse hatred and discrimination… the moment you take your human hands and bear arms against another… you aren’t mucking about in the divine any more, baby, you are projecting your own bullshit into the world.
Both of these men (and sadly, they are not alone) think that those who violate gender norms and sexual mores (as defined by them!) are deserving of death. Death.
There’s no difference except this: Omar picked up the guns himself. Dobson encourages others to do it. Neither is okay – neither should be accepted. This is not love. This is not spirituality. This is radical religion taken to its logical and sad conclusion… that which we do not like… that which we do not understand… that which we feel is threatening to our idea of what it means to be man or woman or good or bad or queer or straight... we should annihilate it. It is the most primitive of behavior and we all ought to have evolved beyond that.
I don’t want to hate any.more.today. The world has lost precious souls – and we are still reeling from that, but we are not alone. No, we are not alone.