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Hands Up

For those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning, you’ll be able to vouch for me on this. I hate politics. I think it’s a waste of time to argue about things with someone when you both know you’re never going to agree with each other. It’s arguing for the sake of arguing, and I hate that. However, do you know something I hate more than arguing for the sake of arguing? Hate. I hate hate.

All of this has been bouncing around in my mind in the wake of the indictment decision out of Ferguson, Missouri. If you didn’t know where Ferguson was before all of this, I’m sure you do now. It’s a Saint Louis suburb, and from my understanding, there are pretty clear racial lines dividing the city. That was why the killing of Michael Brown caused the uproar that it did. White cop. Black kid. Clearly, this is all about race, and hate.

Can you note the sarcasm in that sentence?

I’m not here to argue any of this, because I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. I will never know what happened. Sometimes, it sounds like Michael Brown is this generation’s Rodney King. Other times, it sounds like he would have gotten shot no matter what his race, because he tried to take a weapon from a police officer. It depends on who is telling the story, on which direction the media outlet you’re listening to is leaning.

I hate racism, because racism is hate. But I also hate that people make things about race when they are not. Take OJ Simpson, for instance. When he was charged with his ex-wife’s murder, the country was split in two. The “white people” all thought he was guilty, because he was a black former football player. The “black people” all thought he was innocent, because sure, blame the black guy! What about the people who thought he was guilty because he clearly did it? Why does it matter that there were different races in this case at all?

If Michael Brown had been the same race as the police officer and the same thing happened, would the whole country know his name? Would there be people taking to the streets in cities across the country after hearing a verdict they didn’t like in a case that was thousands of miles away? No, probably not. Should there be, despite the race of the people involved? Maybe. Again, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened for sure.

But what I do know is that racism is hate. Reverse racism is hate. It’s all hate, and really, should we be hating each other? And, on a related note, should we be judging other people by how they feel about all of this hate?

I’m tired of seeing people’s opinions on Facebook. I’m tired of all of the news outlets screaming at one another. I’m tired of getting CNN Breaking News emails that read, “Officer Darren Wilson resigns after Ferguson indictment.” Oh, a cop resigned? That never happens. I’m glad that’s breaking news. This is what I’m talking about. People get all up in other people’s business, other people’s hate. And I’m tired of that.

I don’t know how I feel about Ferguson, Missouri. But I do know that I don’t want to live in a country that makes hate into news.

I titled this post “Hands Up,” but that isn’t because I’m protesting the indictment, as so many across the country are doing, including Macklemore and several members of the Saint Louis Rams football team. My hands are up because I’m hoping that there is a higher power that can save us from this mess. My hands are up in prayer, in celebration of love, in song, and in an outcry against all of the hate in the world.

The future is in our hands. Let’s not let hate win.

-A.

Mockingjay, Part 1

"Mean to Me" by Brett Eldredge

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