Love Is The Answer To Hate

Image via It’s Going Down

We have completely lost our way and forgotten basic morals in our battle against hate.

Before I say another word: neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists are some of the most deplorable people in society.

The media has been in nothing less than a frenzy in demanding more specific and pointed condemnations of neo-Nazis and white supremacists from President Trump. Other politicians, celebrities, and public figures seem to be engaging in some sort of competition on who can outdo the other in condemning the far-right agitators.

We have completely lost our way and forgotten basic morals in our battle against hate.

The answer to hate is not more hate. It is not getting on a podium and delivering statements of condemnation and judgment. All such acts can do is push people, who already feel as if they are being victimized and replaced, closer to extreme ideologies. To them, we are merely proving their point, and this will only make them veer further down the road of bigotry.

No, the answer to hate is not more hate, but love.

I don’t want to get too preachy or sentimental here, but this truth is self-evident. Take the fascinating case of Daryl Davis, an African American Blues musician who has spent decades befriending Klu Klux Klan members.

He socializes with them, he connects with them, and it works. Mr. Davis has an entire collection of Klan robes, all given to him by the scores of members who gave up their lifestyles of hatred. In this lies an important message, human connection is the best way to battle bigotry.

Yet Davis, who should be made a saint in my book, is met with much resistance from those on the Left, who claim to be fighting to end discrimination. They claim he is “befriending the enemy”. I personally believe that this mindset that is the biggest obstacle to real progress in race relations in our nation.

As long as we paint the opposition as “enemies” and “bad people”, there will be no progress. The day you brand a white supremacist as someone who is “too far gone,” is the day you become no better than them. There is just as much hate in your heart as there is in theirs.

We seem to get some sort of satisfaction from publicly condemning racists, as though we accomplished something. What if, instead of writing these people off as “bad”, we strove to find out what led them down their path? What if we strived to understand what happened to them? What if we took the time to understand them? If we focused more on that, on understanding the roots of hatred instead of judging it, we would finally begin the “honest conversation about race” we hear people on television talk so much about.

Do what Daryl Davis does, show love as a response to hate. It truly is the most powerful weapon of all

Matthew Jacobs, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is studying for his Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes about the intersection of religion and secularism in the United States.

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