I was lucky not to have been born yet when the hate would have been pointed in my direction, not for anything I’d done or even really believed in. Just for being born. For existing and having a last name that identified me as someone worthy of being hated. Also lucky my ancestors got out of town before they started rounding them up and putting them in camps, I suppose, or I’d not be here now.
Of course, in some parts of the world I’m hated for having been born where I was born, and for believing the things I do about people and freedom and love not being mutually exclusive ideas. But living where I live, I’m mostly protected from that hate. Some people in those parts of the world might also hate me because I have a vagina and because my submission is my choice and my education was my right.
Of course, I guess being born where I was born, I could be hated because my parents weren’t. Born here. Technically they didn’t even come here on the up and up, but it’s not like they had a choice in the matter. They were kids when they were brought over.
But we’re not brown looking and by the time they got here, the whole religion thing wasn’t so bad anymore, so…I guess it’s all about timing.
Of course, I’m lucky. Because today there’s not a lot of hate pointed directly at me. Because I live in a place where that hate is not overwhelmingly tolerated. I can hide in my privileged bubble where my life isn’t threatened on a daily basis because of where or how I live or where I pee or who I love or what I wear or how I earn my living.
But had I been born in a different era, a different country, or…even a differentpart of the country, that statement might not be so true.
Today I’m reminded of that famous quote by Martin Niemöller. You know the one? The one that ends with “Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me?”
I was lucky.
I am lucky.
What’s happening? What keeps happening? This hate?
It’s not okay.
I’m here. I’m speaking. This hate is not acceptable. It wasn’t then. It isn’t now. It won’t be, ever. Even if it never gets pointed in my direction. Even if they never “come for me” the way they are coming for my friends, loved ones, co-workers, family members, and role models – it’s not okay. Even if I didn’t know a single gay person, black person, trans person, asian person, jewish, muslim, atheist, immigrant, or American person.
It’s. Not. Okay.
It’s not enough to “unfriend,” or “unfollow,” people on my facebook who might support bigotry, or surround myself only with allies so that it stops being in my face. It’s not okay to pretend it doesn’t exist in my cozy corner of my safe little reality the way I avoid watching videos of animal cruelty because it hurts my soul to bear witness to it. It’s not enough to send an angry tweet or change my profile pic or sign an online petition. It’s not enough to sit and cry and feel helpless because there’s NOTHING I can do.
I can’t hold my breath and wait six months and hope it all goes away.
All I can do is keep seeing it. Keep being not okay with it. Keep raising my voice against hate. Keep standing with those who are on the receiving end of injustice and terror.
Not because one day I might need them to stand for me, but because today is a day that we all need to stand together and say this is not okay.
I’ll sign the petitions. I’ll call my elected officials. I’ll write my blogs and share my love and send out hugs and support and give money where and when I can…
But this doesn’t end until we’re all doing it. Not just the ones who agree with us.All of us.
Hate has to stop.