We sit at a profound moment in history. Daily, we are privy to images of social upheaval broadcast into our consciousness from all over the world. We regularly see the consequences of our fictitious categories. We’ve created more monsters than we can count. We thought that skin tones said something innate about who or what someone was. We continue to be so wrong. We thought that sexual orientation said something innate about who or what someone was. We continue to be so wrong. We thought that ability said something innate about who or what someone was. We continue to be so wrong. I could go on and on. Our categories have failed. We sit in the midst of hate of our own creation. We must find a way out of all of these lines that we have drawn between each other or we will suffocate under the weight of trying to live into the hateful categorical expectations that we have become enslaved to. Hate divides and kills.
“Hate provides a bitter fruit upon which to feed and slowly it poisons the whole being…Hate also wills the nonexistence of another human being. It is not the same as willing the destruction of another person; such is often the aim of bitterness and hostility. Hate is at another and more profound level; it undermines the very being of the other by affirming his nonexistence and accepting this affirmation as true and authentic. It is a withdrawal of sanction of the other as existing…This is refined evil.”
-Howard Thurman, This Luminous Darkness, 45-46
Hate is what fuels the creation of categories and our desire to live into them. We believe that we can empower our category by excluding other categories. We are foolish. In our attempts to create exclusive safe spaces, we are perpetuating the hate that we claim to stand against. Make no mistake, all gatherings exclusive of other categories perpetuate the hate that were used to create the categories in the first place. I do not believe that peace or reconciliation or equality or justice can exist as long as we kill each other with our categories. On this day, I must declare that I will not participate in anything that excludes any categories. I do not believe that the segregation of categories will do anything but create more hate. Our categories are failing us and love is the only answer.
“Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 37
Love is the only antidote to our addiction to our hateful categorization. Love is a process of radical inclusion not exclusion. We must love beyond the hate that is our foolish categories.