Children of hate, I have struggled since Charlottesville with what to say to you. Because I desperately want you to understand that you are still human. And despite your efforts to see me as less than human, I believe somewhere in your flesh and bones you know we are the same. The same species, the same breed, with the same needs and desires.
Security, comfort, companionship. All humans want these things. You are human. I am human. We want the same things. You have only to look in my eyes, both of us momentarily unguarded, close enough for honesty, to know this. But we have never met. And so you are free to imagine my otherness, to blame my very existence for your pain.
And you are in pain. No one can be as angry as you are without some core of pain like a spinning sun, burning your heart, turning your soul to ash. This pain has made you afraid. Its hidden shape haunts you. What does it really look like? You don’t know because it hurts too much to look at it. So when someone tells you it looks like me, you believe them.
Now you can be angry instead of afraid! Now you can mount your pain and ride it, spreading your avenging angel wings, promising that heads will roll. It feels so good to have a solid target, something you can fight in the real world, something whose shadow does not shift and change into that terrifying, hidden pain. But that target is a lie. I am not the cause of your suffering. And your pain and fear will never go away while you hide them behind my face.
I am afraid, too. I am afraid of your anger. But I will not counter your anger with mine. I will not meet you on the battlefield and bury my fear in blood and fury. There is no victory for your side or mine when we kill each other. Only absurd death. Only more pain.
Instead, I offer you this knowledge. It is not too late. Every moment of your life is a choice. You are only a step away from looking in my eyes, from learning that we share everything. Every important part of us is the same. You can understand me. I am not your enemy. You can let that lie go. Who knows? Maybe when we’re standing together you won’t feel so hurt and afraid.
There are others like you who have come back to the warm embrace of humanity. There is help for you if you decide you can not ignore the quiet song of our connection any longer. Reach out. The human family is always waiting for you.
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