We have two “Hate has No Home Here” signs outside our home. If only it was that simple.
Despite being a white, male, heterosexual and living in New York, I realize that hate has been and continues to be all around me. It was part of a “complicated” history of the school in North Carolina where I got my graduate education. And it is currently in the news for the small high school in Massachusetts that I attended where the football team called plays with words connected to the Holocaust. Hate was behind the graffiti that was etched on the synagogue that my children would go to just a couple blocks from our apartment when we lived in Brooklyn. And there was hate when someone hung a noose in response to a Black Lives Matter sign on a small island in Maine where we were last summer. And now after January 6th, many people around the country are coming to realize that those who threatened to take away our democracy actually may be our neighbors. Hate is not something that just happens someplace else. Although I love this country, American hate is both unique and ubiquitous. In 2021, hate may be in all of our communities.
Recent events and the many, many events in our American history must cause us to come to terms with the fact that hate is here. We all have a role to play in addressing this reality so that it does not continue to divide, damage and destroy us and our democracy. Being anti-racist is an active step, not a passive one. It requires all community members, not just people of color, to speak up and address racism, oppression and injustice. It begins by actively keeping hate out of our homes, schools, and places of worship. It requires a recognition of both current events and historical ones. What becomes of our communities and our nation is dependent upon the homes that we all actively create.