How to disarm hate with loving collective action
This is part one of a two-part series. Today I share how you can take action to disarm hate and be a part of true collective change. In part 2 I share more on the inner work I believe we must all be committed to in order to have a life-giving experience of becoming and sustaining our true potential as change makers and light workers. You can read Part 2 here. Thank you for sharing the space of loving intention and courageous action with me.
I’ve found myself up a little later at night this past week thinking about where we’re headed as a planet. The tweets, the rhetoric, the back and forth posturing and threats that unfolded between the U.S. president and North Korea have had my mind racing.
And what took place at the white supremicist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend sickened me. Hundreds of white men from around the country held tiki torches they likely bought at Walmart and raged against all those who are not just like them.
They chanted against people of color, women, Jews, Muslims. They spoke of “taking their country back”. Back from whom? Back from what? Who has oppressed and subjugated white men in the United States? Ever?
And then there were the courageous souls who chose to stand for equality, peace, and racial harmony.
Students of the University of Virginia held a banner of peaceful protest against white supremacy in a sea of angry men and their tiki torches.
Religious leaders of various faiths and ethnicities formed a human wall in front of white supremicists who were dressed in combat gear and armed with guns.
Courageous women and men who stand for peace, social justice, and racial equality dared to be present in the midst of such hate.
And this courage came at a great cost to one woman and others who were critically injured on Saturday. A 20-year-old white supremicist from Ohio intentionally rammed his car into a crowd of peaceful protestors standing for equality.
This domestic terrorist killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, and injured many more.
Heather Heyer, human and civil rights activist who was murdered by a domestic terrorist in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, August 12th
I didn’t allow myself to watch the video that a bystander captured of this moment but I did see a picture of people flying through the air as he plowed through them.
One of those images I can’t unsee.
As my eyes, heart, mind, and soul processed what I was seeing my throat clenched up. My gut churned. Tears came.
Anger. Fear. Disbelief. Deep sadness.
And this is the point of terrorism. This is the aim of hate. Terrorism and hate crimes are executed with the intention of disarming us, eroding tolerance and acceptance in our communities, and deterring us from taking action for justice, peace, and equality.
What do we do with these feelings?
How do we effectively act from a place of love and prevent ourselves from being lost in the fear and chaos that hate wants to escalate?
As a white woman living in Maine, I also find myself asking this question:
What do we do when we see suffering and injustice, especially when we’re not “directly” involved in unfolding events?
I’m not here to tell anyone what to do but if your heart is feeling the call to act than I feel we've been given this assignment to take action together.
OUR COLLECTIVE CALL TO ACTION AT THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY
At the local level in our own communities, and at the collective level in our global community, this world needs all loving souls to stand up and speak out for the rights and well-being of our diverse people and precious planet.
We may have our political differences but I sense that none of us are okay with a Neo-Nazi White Supremicist movement gaining power and influence in the United States of America in 2017.
You and I may be afraid and uncertain of how to take effective action but I believe we know deep down that the time is now to be the medicine and activists our people and planet need.
Right now, history is unfolding and assigning us with the task of courageous action.
The burden of the civil rights movement isn't in the hands of people of color alone, it's in us all coming together and being the collective voice for change.
If you live in the United States, I believe that one of the assignments we’ve received is to once and for all end racial injustice, oppression, and violence. If you live elsewhere in the world, what do you see as an assignment you and your community are called into action on at this time?
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
My intention here is to share some simple ways that you can take action from a place of love. I promise that you can trust that these actions are helping a larger movement to disarm hate and create more justice, freedom, and equality for all.
1. If you are in a place to put financial resources into a trusted, impactful, effective organization that fights everyday to end racial and social injustice, donate to The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) here: Donate to Disarm Racial Injustice Now
Even if your donation is small, know that every bit counts and a bunch of individual donations equals the collective sum of powerful change!
2. Visit the link below and download the SPLC's incredible guide that outlines 10 powerful and doable ways that you can help disarm hate.
The first step they share is to act. Here are a few ideas they outline (many of these are simple and doable!).
Actions to take from SPLC to disarm hate in your community now:
"Pick up the phone. Call friends and colleagues. Host a neighborhood or community meeting. Speak up in church. Suggest some action.
Sign a petition. Attend a vigil. Lead a prayer.
Repair acts of hate-fueled vandalism, as a neighborhood or a community.
Use whatever skills and means you have. Offer your print shop to make fliers. Share your musical talents at a rally. Give your employees the afternoon off to attend.
Be creative. Take action. Do your part to fight hate."
Together, our individual efforts will create effective collective change. History tells us this is true and our moment is now.
Tomorrow I will share why I believe we need an inner practice to build life-giving courage as change makers and how you can develop your own simple practice to support and sustain you through this work. Thank you so much for taking the time to reflect on all of this with me.
If you're feeling the call in your heart, know that we're taking on this great assignment of our times together.
In solidarity and with hope,