Dear White Supremacist


leah abraham -dear white supremacist3Dear White Supremacist,

Do you think we would ever sit at a table and share a meal together?

Would we ever share our stories, fears, thoughts and opinions with each other? Would we look into each other’s eyes, and see our own reflections?

Do we belong to each other?

I’ve been wondering this for a while. Then Charlottesville happened. And it happened again.

And I stopped wondering. Instead, I recoiled. I distanced myself from you. I wanted to be as far away from you as possible.

Dear White Supremacist, I’m afraid of you.

I’m afraid for my physical safety when I think of you. You can’t see it, but my hands are shaking just typing this. My chest just got tighter. You have a strong physical and mental effect on me.

Right now, I can’t bring myself to sit with you. I don’t want to hear your stories. I don’t want to break bread with you. I want nothing to do with you.

Yet, there’s still dissonance in me.

I can hear a nagging voice inside my heart, prodding me to love my enemy and turn the other cheek. Sorry Jesus, but I can’t fully say I’m on board with that right now.

How do I love someone who calls themselves a white supremacist, white nationalist, neo-Confederate or neo-Nazi? How do I turn the other cheek when you chant, “White lives matter” and “You will not replace us”? How do I forgive you when you drive a car through a crowd of protesters, killing one?

Your hatred makes me feel less than. Your bigotry pushes me out. Your rhetoric makes me question my worth.

That’s not OK.

Like you, I bruise. Like you, I laugh. Like you, I desire happiness, safety, belonging and community.

At the end of the day, aren’t we the same? Don’t we belong to each other?

Then why did Charlottesville need to happen?

What hurt are you experiencing? Is your sense of belonging threatened? Do you feel ignored and unjustly treated?

Help me understand.

I want to understand. I want to understand your pain. I want to understand your heart. I want to understand your experience.

I want to understand because I don’t want to be afraid of you.

I hope one day I will understand. I hope I’ll stop being afraid.

Maybe then we can sit at a table and share a meal. You can tell me your stories, your fears, your thoughts and opinions, and I promise to listen. And maybe I’ll summon the courage to share my stories, fears, thoughts and opinions.

Maybe we’ll see our reflections in each other’s eyes.

Maybe then we’ll truly believe and live like we belong to each other.