Last week, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white male, entered a Charleston, South Carolina church and joined 12 black parishioners and one black Reverend in a bible study class. After an hour, he allegedly stood up and began firing his gun—reloading five times– and killing nine of the people he prayed with, including the pastor
CNN reported, “The shooter declared he was there to ‘kill black people’ and an online manifesto attributed to him contained white supremacist screeds.”
This twenty-one year old “boy”, allegedly killed them–because of the color of their skin. The parishioners unknowingly welcomed into their place of worship a hate-filled white man, whose sole purpose was to kill them.
“Hate”, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is defined as, “an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury”.
People throw the word “hate” around as though it’s no big deal. Hate IS a BIG deal. Having an intense hostility towards someone or something IS a big deal. If you have an intense hatred for a person or a group, it’s time to truly check yourself because that hatred will burn a hole in you and that will ultimately end up hurting you—and our world. If all you feel is hate when you look at someone, then the problem is within YOU. Work to connect with your humanity—don’t make plans to snuff out theirs’.
Hate doesn’t lessen the pain, reduce fears or heal any injuries that may have been caused by a person or group. Hate breeds more hate. It causes more pain, inflicts more hate and darkens a person’s soul.
Inherent in hate are lies. Look for the lies you’re telling yourself—starting with the one that tells you this person or group is “all” bad. No single person or entire race, gender, ethnicity or class of people is all good or all bad. Hatred ignores this basic life principle. Figure out what that burning hate is within you and find a way to work it through—for your sake and our world’s.
When you hate a group of people you will always be able to find another group of people to join you in your hate—know that these people are just as off as you are. They are NOT “wise”—they are simply angry, misguided hate-filled people. Hate breeds more hate. Those hate-filled people will NOT help you feel better. They will intensify your hate and lead you down a miserable, negative skewed path with no happy ending.
The way out of hate and misery is acceptance, compassion and love. Love yourself enough to forgive the imperfections of humanity—don’t stew on them. Love yourself enough to refuse to hate another human being—this one move will help you to accept yourself more fully—you need that or you wouldn’t be so filled with hate.
The memorial service for Rev. Clementa Pinckney was today. President Obama gave the eulogy—a black man speaking on behalf of another black man who was allegedly killed because of the color of his skin. The logic of killing someone because of how they look escapes me. The pain of being hated because of my skin color is a pain I have not had to endure. My heart goes out to all those who have had to–and continue to have to–endure it every day.
A little more than one week ago hatred killed nine people, devastated the families of all of the victims—those killed and those who survived–rocked a town, shook a nation and left countless people grieving—including the alleged shooter’s own family. The person who allegedly carried out this crime also destroyed his own life in the process–a 21-year-old “boy’s” life.
Hatred breeds hatred; it does not relieve pain, solve problems or save our world. It simply destroys everything in its path—including the person filled with hate.
My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. I cannot even begin to imagine what the victims went through and how crazy-making it must have been for them to be praying with a man one minute only to be killed by him the next.
Challenge: Challenge your hate. Fight it, don’t accept it. Get help for it if you can’t shake it. If you don’t there is only one path it can take you down—a destructive one.