Stop. Collaborate. And Listen.

Yes, I just quoted Vanilla Ice. Don’t mock. Because he’s right.

Here’s the deal. I don’t want to be writing this post. I want to be writing a post wherein I complain about prolonged elevator outages on Metro and the effect that have on those of us with strollers. I want that to be the biggest problem in the world right now. Because really? How great would it be if an elevator mechanic could solve the biggest problem in the world with some hardware and tools?

But that’s not the biggest problem in the world. This world has EPIC problems, the kinds of problems that I sit and consider, and wring my hands in helplessness because I can’t solve them. Hunger. Disease. Poverty. Illiteracy.


Yeah, I said it. Hate is a problem on par with famine and AIDS. And it’s not just a problem in Sudan or the Middle East. It’s a problem HERE. In the US of A. Maybe in your town. Certainly in mine, where Haters of all kinds gather to march the streets of the Capital and shriek their Hate for all the world to watch.

Here’s what’s got me so fired up. There’s an organization in Florida that calls itself a church* but, if its website is any indication, it’s really just a clubhouse for people who hate Islam, and the people there want to spend 9/11/2010 burning Korans.

You read that right. They plan to commemorate the worst act of Hate every committed on US soil with…more Hate.

I tasted bile when I first heard about these plans. The arrogance, the bigotry, the epic ignorance of these people is staggering.  How dare they denigrate millions of people across the world in this way? How dare they step onto a pedestal of their own creation and declare themselves superior in this way? How dare they flaunt their Hate in the faces of not only its intended target but in the faces of the millions, upon millions of peaceful, loving people across the world who want nothing more than for everyone to get along and stop the senseless Hate and Violence?

General Patreus says this act will put US troops overseas in danger of retaliation.

I say this act will put a generation of children in danger of thinking Hate is acceptable.

Hate is not acceptable.

Moms, we are the front line in the battle against Hate and we have got to act. See, if we teach our kids how to Love, how to Accept, how to replace Fear with Tolerance, Ignorance with Knowledge, we can do battle with Hate and maybe, finally, beat that sucker.

It isn’t easy to walk through life giving everyone else the respect they deserve. It’s really, really hard to look at people who live, or love, or believe differently than you do and say to yourself “Eh. They’re ok.”. It’s so much easier to stare down difference and decide it’s bad. That it’s frightening. That you Hate it. And it’s really easy to pass all of that on to your kids. But as moms we know that that isn’t the right thing to do. We aren’t here to turn our kids into fearful little prejudice machines, We need to teach them to take joy in our glorious world and show them how to experience all that the world has to offer with a spirit of kindness, tolerance, and openness.

And this is where Vanilla Ice comes in:

Stop. Stop shying away from the parts of the world that are shadowed and unfamiliar. Face them squarely and look hard at what you see.

Collaborate: Reach out to people who know things you don’t know. Ask them to explain things.

Listen: Just listen.

If you do that, if you teach your children to do that, you can stop the cycle of Hate. You can solve one of the world’s biggest problems.

And I can get back to ranting about the elevators on the Metro.

*I am not going to link to that organization because I don’t want them to think that I like them. They’re pretty easy to find because the mainstream media is reporting on them like crazy this week. Their name has the words Dove and World in it if you want to Google.

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12 comments for “Stop. Collaborate. And Listen.

  1. September 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Wow. Wow to the audacity of some people and wow to a wonderfully written post! I couldn’t agree with more. I don’t think I will look them up, just reading that one line here made my stomach turn.

  2. September 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The Koran-burning makes me incredibly sad. It’s so stupid and hateful. I also agree with Gen. Patraeus — I think it puts our troops in even more danger and simply provokes more hate and violence.

  3. Jenny
    September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

    You know that is my hometown, right? It’s actually a college town full of burnout hippies, lots of lefty activists, and small pockets of crazy righties and white supremacists. Florida is a weird place. I drove by that “church” on my way to high school.

    It’s sickening.

  4. September 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

    It’s narcissism, and it’s sad.

    Great post–too bad that it had to upstage the prolong elevator outages.

  5. September 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Teaching hate to your kids is horrible. Love and understanding, now that is some good stuff. We should all stop, collaborate and listen. It makes me so sad to see hate like you reference.

  6. September 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Good show. Thanks!

  7. September 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    That they hide behind God as an excuse to spread their hatred is appauling. I feel horrible for all the children whose minds will be polluted with the ignorance, hate and narcissism spread by the parents who believe this “church” to be in the right.

    So, so sad.

  8. peggey
    September 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    It’s churches who do things like this that make me want to spit & swear with the foulest, most vile invectives I can create. It makes mockery of the actual, day-to-day, action-based teachings of the person these churches claim to follow. I’m taking a class on the New Testament this fall, and I know that my frustration with “stuff like this” is only going to get worse…. Where is the love, people? Certainly can’t see it in you….

  9. September 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s stuff like this that makes me fear for my children, and the world they will grow up in.

    Well said. To both you and Vanilla Ice.

  10. September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Well said Rebekah!

  11. anthrogrrl
    September 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    The worst part, to me, is that a small segment of Society A is using religious justification for their complete condemnation of and attacks on individuals from Society B, which results in large numbers of individuals in the Society B believing that everyone in Society A is just like the crazy, dangerous extremists. And that sentence describes both the Koran burners, AND the Al Qaeda terrorists! And neither group can see that they are mirroring each other’s intolerance, bigotry, and hate. And I fear that more and more people are getting sucked into it.

  12. September 9, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Who knew that Vanilla Ice was the Nelson Mandela of our generation?

    I love this post. I find myself guilty of hating the bigoted and racist people I see, and I’m trying to be kinder to people in general. It’s just really hard.

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