In Trump’s America, history is repeating itself once again with white supremacist rallies and violence, leading to the death of an innocent equality seeking woman and the injuries of many more. What is really shocking is not what the self-proclaimed neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and people-of-color hating white racists say and do; what is really shocking is the people who you’d least expect defending these rallies as being representative of “freedom of speech” and opinion, or the people, whether they are colleagues, former colleagues, or people within your professional network, who think a quote like the one below are delusional or “total crap”:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… …For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
This was originally said by Nelson Mandela, and Tweeted by former President Obama after the Charlottesville act of domestic terrorism that happened this past Saturday. And someone posted this quote in my LinkedIn feed today, to which one very ignorant white woman responded that this quote was totally crap and all lies, that as if lions and zebras just “learn” to hate each other, that it’s instinct, so how are people any different?
So, I have a couple responses to that: 1) I didn’t realize that black people, white people, Chinese people, whatever ethnicity you want to name, were actually different species of animal the way zebra and lions are. That’s probably one of the most insulting and inherently racist things someone can say – that white people are innately different from any other race, or a comparison of any races in that sense; and 2) behavior towards people, towards things, thoughts, anything is very much learned, especially when it comes to expressing emotions, and it’s sad to see that people aren’t educated in school or in life enough to realize that. We’re not born thinking or knowing we are Christian or Indian or Muslim or anything; we are taught all those things. And in the same way, we are taught that one religion or race is superior to the other. Babies don’t have a clue what race they are or what religion their parents practice, and neither do most kids under the age of 5!!
It’s as though every day of 2017, I am becoming more and more aware of how delusional and short sighted my fellow Americans are. And every day, I kind of just want to bury myself under my sheets and not deal with reality.