Heather Heyer – killed by hate.

My heart has been heavy for the last few days after seeing all of the violence in North Carolina. But today I awoke feeling a lot of hope. I have been watching people around me online and people in my community who have come together to spread love. This is what we do as human beings. This is what we are built to do, to rally together and comfort one another. We are compelled to see evil in our midst and to either run from it or stand up to it. Racism is nothing new to the human race. It comes about because of fear, because of feelings of inadequacy, because of hopelessness. Racists are not born with hate in their heart, they develop it over time. Hate is an easy way to blame someone or something else for feeling less than. Hate comes from fear.

I grew up in the punk rock community. There was a lot of racism, bigotry and hatred on the outskirts of this community. The one element that kept these factions out of the community as a whole was they didn’t understand the solution, they only saw the problem. Yes, we were all feeling disenfranchised, yes we all felt unaccepted by society, yes we all felt like we didn’t quite fit in. But what drove a segment to turn to racism and hatred was to place blame on others for these feelings and go with the easy way out – to live in fear and anger. Anger is such a weak emotion, it’s the easy way out. I know, I lived with a lot of anger for a long time. It was easier to get pissed off and yell than to look within and figure out what I was so fearful of. I don’t do that today.

I am looking around me today and I feel so much hope because I see an outpouring of love. Racism is not new, especially to the southern half of our country. But we are living in an age where these hate groups are feeling more and more comfortable to come out into the light. I for one am relieved that they are coming out into the light for one reason and that is because I know that the only way to fight demons is in the light. So today, maybe we need to reflect on what it is as individuals we are doing that is giving these demons the idea that they are safe out in the light. Is it because we have become apathetic to the violence? Is it because we have continued to look the other way because we are not directly affected yet? I know for me that both of these things are true. I need to do more as a human being to stand up for what is right. So thanks for showing yourselves, thanks for walking out in the light, thanks for making more people like me decide today is the day that I choose to do more to fight evil.

I pray more people woke up today with hope. I pray that the actions this weekend sparked something in the good people around me to continue spreading love and to do just a little bit more today to reach out to those feeling disenfranchised and hopeless that the way to go is to learn about their fellow human beings, to start looking within rather than living in fear and to be open to change. Maybe it’s too late for the old geezers who are organizing these rallies and brainwashing a bunch of young pissed off kids, but it certainly isn’t too late for their great-grandchildren. The only way to fight the demons is to bring them into the light and the only way to fight hate is with love.

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I’m Jen. I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend and often times the bad influence your mom warned you about. I am good with words, numbers and dysfunctional people. I tend to find humor in situations that aren’t really funny and I laugh at my own jokes.

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