Make the Pledge to Choose Love!
In January of 2018, I made the pledge to Choose Love. I made the pledge to accept others regardless of our differences, to not exclude anyone because they do not believe in the same things that I believe in, and to go out of my way to focus on love and not hate or division. Will you make that pledge with me?
With all of the negativity that is going on in the world right now, we need love more than ever. I believe that it is easier to love than it is to hate. We are born with love in our hearts. Hate is learned and it takes an effort to hate.
Say No to Hate
The one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville, VA white supremacist march – Unite the Right- is coming up. The white supremacists and various other far right-wing groups were protesting the removal of a Confederate monument. Last year’s demonstration quickly turned into a riot and one woman was killed and 19 others were seriously injured when a man intentionally drove a car through a group of counter-protesters.
I remember watching the television in horror as white men with hateful looks on their faces dressed in khaki pants holding burning tiki torches and screaming “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” The term “Blood and Soil” is a Nazi slogan believing ethnicity is based solely on blood descent and the territory one maintains. Hitler made “Blood and Soil” a policy which made farmland hereditary and made German farmers show proof of ethnicity. This was used as a way to keep Jewish people from owning the land.
Thankfully, the organizers of this year’s rally were denied a permit to hold an event in Charlottesville this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop them from organizing somewhere else. The organization was recently approved for a permit in Washington, D.C.
The focus of this year’s rally will be on what they conceive as “white civil rights.” They believe that white people now have limited rights – specifically freedom of speech. Of course, this is blatantly untrue. However, people that have always felt this way but kept it to their inner circles are now showing their hatred for the world to see and without shame. When our leaders do not denounce racism and declare that we are all equal, it makes some people believe that racist behavior is okay and acceptable.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. President John F. Kennedy tried to get it passed in 1963, but it was opposed by filibuster in the Senate. Thankfully, Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the bill through (after several revisions) and it passed the Senate with a vote of 73–27 and a House vote of 289–126. It was signed into law on July 2, 1964.
- Speak out if you see someone being harassed or treated unfairly and if you don’t feel comfortable doing that – record the situation with your phone so there is proof of the incident.
- If you have children and haven’t talked to them about racism, sit down with them and talk to them about racism and how it is wrong. Don’t expect them to solely learn this fact from school – talk to them directly and make this an ongoing conversation.
- If you haven’t already, watch the movie “13th” to learn about systematic racism. Education is the key to change.
- If you watch the same news channels on television or listen to the same news on the radio or podcast consistently, try something different and change up your routine. Watch or listen to something that you haven’t before. Also, research the facts of the news online to confirm its accuracy. Note: If someone is shouting the “news” at you – it more than likely is just their opinion of the news and they are trying to get viewers to see their way vs. the actual truth.
- Watch the PBS documentary “Documenting Hate” which details the hatred and division in last year’s Charlottesville event.
Watch “Documenting Hate” trailer here:
Choose Love Campaign
I purchased my “CHOOSE LOVE” t-shirt during OMAZE’s fundraising partnership with RED this past December to raise money for AIDS awareness and prevention. I wanted to continue spreading the message of “Choose Love” although Omaze no longer sells these t-shirts. However, you can still purchase t-shirts with other positive messages by Omaze with a portion of all sales going to non-profit charitable organizations. I am currently working on designing my own Choose Love T-shirts to sell and raise money for charity. But for now, order your t-shirt with a positive message and support a variety of charitable efforts through OMAZE by clicking here: HERE.