Hate is hate. This sounds simplistic, but I do believe it’s easy to confuse a soldier in Darfur that’s killing innocent victims and a racist man walking down the streets of Amarillo. Given, the Amarillo man does get a brownie point for not murdering those he hates, but he still hates. His heart is no different. Several weeks ago I met a young man that was smart, funny, nice; a Christian gentleman. I was shocked when I heard him say “…those niggars…”. I gave him the benefit of a doubt for a couple of seconds until he went on to say that while he doesn’t “hate niggars” he doesn’t think they are productive to society or the world in general. I’ll be honest, I didn’t say too much. I said that I disagreed with him and as a Christian did not share that idea but I honestly didn’t know what to say. That seems to have started off my eye opening experiences to the racist world around me…a couple of other moments similar to this have happened in the past two days.
1) I was at working and helping an older gentleman. He was nice and talkative and we ended up having a long conversation. He was a Vietnam veteran and a Christian and, of course, both topics interest me. I don’t remember how or why, but homosexuality ended up coming in to the conversation. He basically said that hated homosexuals and as a Captain/Corporal/Whatever in the Marines in Vietnam he would have kicked anyone in his squad out if he found out they were homosexual. It was “bad for morale” after all. Being at work I couldn’t kick him in the balls. Oh but how I wanted to scream at him! The only appropriate thing I could say was “I personally try not to condemn people just because I disagree with their choices. God’s the final judge, not me. Thank goodness! I’m going to love any sinner because that’s what I am. God allows free will and people are allowed to live any lifestyle they want.” This was probably the better choice anyways because screaming at someone that they are a bigot won’t help any situation along (oh but I would have felt great yelling that!). I was frustrated that I was at work and couldn’t really tell him what I was thinking or look him in the eye and ask him if he’s read in the Bible past the Old Testament. Didn’t Jesus sit at the same table as a tax collector? Didn’t he love a harlot and allow her to be in his traveling group? Didn’t Jesus love? Didn’t Jesus come from a direct line of a harlot (Rahab) and an adulteress (Bathsheba)?
2) The other day I was playing an online computer game (yes I’m a World of Warcraft geek) and some random player started yelling things like “…I’m going to lynch niggars just like all those Jews burned.” I had no idea if he was kidding or not, and it doesn’t matter either way (there’s nothing like a good ol’ Auschwitz joke…*rolling eyes*). I started yelling back at this guy that he had no right to say crap like that unless he had been to the death camps and seen what I had seen. Some other player started whispering that I just needed to leave this idiot alone and ignore him and let him ramble on and make himself look more stupid. I was shocked. I don’t care how dumb he is or the fact that my words would do nothing to shut this idiot up but I had to say something. I couldn’t just stand idly by and let some ignorant person yell about things he didn’t understand. I was more upset that someone had the nerve to tell me to stop talking than this guy that was yelling the racial slurs! No I won’t let him keep talking! No I won’t allow words like that to go unnoticed!
When we all got back from the trip we were excited about changing the world. I think we jumped ahead of ourselves. First we much change Amarillo, then the world should be next on our agenda. What good is it to change the world if we’re surrounded by bigots in our own backyards? What good is it to let a fellow WT student or Amarillo residents spew words of hatred? We must first change our world, then change everyone else’s. But we must remember that even those who hate need our patience. I must not begin to hate those who hate. They still need our patience. After all, I had my own judgemental days where I looked down on all the “heathens” and forgot that I was just as bad off as everyone else. It took some time and patience of others in order for me to wake up and realize how stupid I had been. So we must go out in our community and treat hate with love and kindess (though don’t forget the last resort if someone won’t listen: kick them and run!). If we change those around us we can add members to our army of resistance, our army that won’t tolerate hate.