I’m gonna go out on a limb here.
Bear with me.
The problem isn’t whites.
The problem isn’t men.
The problem isn’t the Western World.
The problem isn’t the Right.
The problem isn’t Christians.
The problem isn’t Muslims.
The problem isn’t the wealthy.
The problem isn’t the overprivileged.
The problem isn’t affirmative action.
The problem isn’t feminism.
The problem isn’t political correctness.
The problem isn’t Socialism.
The problem isn’t Capitalism.
The problem isn’t Communism.
The problem isn’t Neo-Feudalism.
The problem isn’t Atheism.
The problem isn’t Secularism.
The problem isn’t prayer being taken out of schools.
The problem isn’t art being taken out of schools.
The problem isn’t the social castration of the American Man.
The problem isn’t the shaming of the American Woman.
The problem isn’t the shiftless, lazy poor.
The problem isn’t the vicious, predatory rich.
The problem isn’t the complacent, shortsighted middle class.
The problem isn’t the military-industrial complex.
The problem isn’t the Internet.
The problem isn’t runaway technology.
The problem isn’t regressive Luddism.
These are all symptoms.
The problem is that everyone on this planet, at some point, in some small way, was taught to hate and fear.
The problem is that the human race has made hate and fear operant, functional, and necessary.
The problem is that empathy is a luxury.
The problem is that me, you, and everyone else on this planet at least consider some small bracket of people The Other; on the opposite side of some mental wall.
The problem is that we think that everyone’s out to get us.
The problem is that thinking that way makes us right.
The problem is the proliferation of weaponized insecurity.
The problem is me.
The problem is you.
The problem is that you are looking for a dragon to slay. The problem is that you’re hunting for monsters.
You are not separate. You are no better. You are one-hundred percent responsible.
There are no monsters. If there were, you’d be one too.
The world would not be better without Jews or Christians or blacks or whites or Muslims or feminists or MRAs or socialists or capitalists or religion or atheism or homosexuality.
The world would be better without hate, fear, and selfishness.
No hate group exists for its own sake. They exist because at their core those people feel threatened. They are afraid, and so they become selfish, and so they hate. And so they bully, threaten, accost, abuse and kill. They’re not monsters.
They’re scared animals.
So are you.
Except for those born into it and taught it, no -Ism truly creates hate where there was none before, just like no dry wood creates fire where there was none before. The thermal and chemical energy aren’t created by fire, just released.
For some, their beliefs give their fear a place to hide, to grow, to mature, and to spread.
That -Ism you hate? The one you think will bring the downfall of mankind?
If it disappeared tomorrow, we’d still be in the same shitter.
It’s an archaic, palliative home remedy people cling to because at the end of the day, it makes them feel just slightly better.
It’s not the disease. If the disease disappeared, we wouldn’t need the -Ism.
You have them too. They may not be collective, they may not be branded, but you have your prejudices and your chosen easy targets of ire.
You are made of the same aimless, wandering, scared stardust, alone and desperate for wholeness as Adolph Hitler and Ted Bundy and Idi Amin Dada and Aileen Wuornos and Irma Grese and Fred Phelps.
Evil is not an adjective, it is a verb. Nobody is evil. What they are is sick, or broken, or taught wrong. They do evil.
“Bad people” are just broken people, people who were twisted by happenstance. They were served with a perfect storm of illness and experience, and happened upon a life for themselves that rewarded them for their violence. You are not like them because you got lucky, and because you were strong. Not everyone is as lucky or as strong as you.
The anger and pain and hurt you’ve felt, and the unfairness of it all? That is the common blood you share with every hateful, violent, unloving “monster” that walks the earth and talks like a person and wears human skin.
That horrible moment when you’ve been so angry that you feel like you’re not even inside of your own body anymore? Where it feels like it’s running on its own, fueled by your anger, and you only have provisional control over what you say or do? That’s them every day of their life. The circumstance that got you to that point once, got them to that point irrevocably.
We don’t honestly, sincerely, maturely, intelligently talk about any of this. Nobody wants to be the person who steps forward first and declares for all to hear that they empathize with The Monster.
But you will never truly fix anything if you adhere to only selective compassion.
There are over seven billion people on this planet, and they are all the same.
There is a vast cycle of pain connecting every person on this planet. It flows through all of us like water.
For a moment imagine if you could look at them all and somehow let them know that you knew their pain.
For a moment imagine if you could break the cycle.
Make somebody smile today.
Make somebody smile tomorrow.
Somebody who you don’t know.
Look a stranger in the eye and tell yourself that you love them.
Fucking mean it.
But if somebody’s too broken, too willing or able to harm you by their words or their actions, whether or not they mean to, by all means, protect yourself.
But offense is not defense.
Stop blaming individuals or groups for the sad, sorry, shitty state of affairs.
Blame no one.
That’s right. Love. Don’t be a coward about it. Love.
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