Hate! Or I would say actually fear, is the larger pandemic we are facing, and it seems to be growing ever larger.
When a 17-year-old takes a gun across state lines to a peaceful protest and kills someone. When an 18-year-old takes a gun into a grocery store and kills black elders. When a 21-year-old takes a gun into a black church and murders its elders. Then, we have a pandemic of hate fueled by fear.
When we have politicians passing laws to allow citizens to sue another citizen who is seeking a constitutionally protected medical procedure, abortion. When we have politicians banning a constitutionally protected medical procedure, abortion, at six weeks, before a woman would even know she is pregnant. When we have politicians planning on making contraceptives illegal. When we have right wing extremists as jurists in the highest court of the land about to overturn a ruling therefore no longer accepting precedence. Then, we have a pandemic of hate fueled by fear.
When we have a governor mandating his state’s child protective services agency to investigate families of trans-children as child abusers. When we have politicians making it illegal to provide care to transsexuals. When we have elected officials making it illegal to say gay in schools. Then, we have a pandemic of hate fueled by fear.
When we have officers of the law killing unarmed black boys and men. When we have officers of the law flashing white power signs. When we have members of the military flashing white power signs. Then, we have a pandemic of hate fueled by fear.
These are but a few examples of the rise in hateful laws and actions being taken not only in our great country, but worldwide.
I can understand and empathize with the fear. Even for me, it can be scary at times to navigate the maze of gender and sexual identity. Even for me, it can be scary at times to see how the job market has rapidly shifted from a producing economy to a service economy to a tech economy. Even for me, it can be scary to walk my hometown and see the changes in demographics. The fear of the unknown and change is quite real for all of us.
What I can’t understand is the hate and violence that follows the fear. We all have the choice to get to know the, what I call the other, in which we work and interact daily. We all have the choice to read and research what we don’t understand or have a hard time wrapping our heads around. We all have the choice to live-and-let-live as long as no one is directly and eminently causing us harm. We all have chosen to continue to live in our great country knowing it has always been a melting pot attracting people unlike ourselves to live her. This diversity, this eclecticness, this newness, this regeneration, is what has made us great and allowed us to become the superpower and powerhouse that we are here in the 21st Century.
Why has it come down to us versus them when we all face the same life challenges as part of the 99%? A house divided will always fall. A house divided will always allow the 1% to control its lives. A house divided will always bring about demise.
Now that we are on this precipice, on this fence, walking this fine line. Now that we are here, which way will we go? Will we wake up to have lost it all due to fearful hate? Or will we wake up to the realities and pull ourselves together to actually fulfill the American dream of “united we stand” and “all men (meaning all of us) are created equal?”
Which will it be? Time is running out. Time to choose. Which will it be?