May 5, 2010

A Hate Letter

Dear Violence,

I hate you.

I hate how you slowly seep into our lives as a game, convincing us that killing can be fun and that there can be winners when we play you.

I hate how you infiltrate our lives in tv shows, movies, and video games such that we become so familiar with you, we think you're normal. I hate how when I watched actual footage of US soldiers killing two innocent journalists in Iraq, my mind could barely distinguish fact from fiction. I hate that the first time I watched the clip, I felt nothing but numb.

I hate how our country of freedom is founded on you. I hate how we generated land by the genocide of Native Americans. I hate how we proclaimed that "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence, but lines later referred to Native Americans as "inhabitants of our Frontiers, merciless Indian Savages." I hate how you justified our enslavement of Africans. I hate how you have convinced us to deny immigrants, claiming that the DNA of America is white, when three hundred years ago America was only indigenous Indian and Mexican.

I hate how you use the sexual organs of men to rape women, penetrating them so deeply that the only thing more torn than their vaginas is their sense of dignity. I hate how you tell women to commit acts of violence on themselves, encouraging us to starve our bodies for beauty, subjugating ourselves to sexual objects, and shaming us to insert silicon and botox into our flesh.

I hate how you pretend to be funny; tell us to laugh at drunken debaucles that lead to fights and screaming, and evade responsibility for the aggression by blaming alcohol. I hate you how hide beneath the guise of racist and homophobic jokes, allowing laughter to subdue indignation.

I hate how you blind us with beauty, such that we think minerals mined by war criminals and clothing made through slave labor are beautiful.

I hate how you cloak yourself in principles like "freedom" and "democracy," and shove the death of innocent masses into the graves of a few terrorists. I hate how you pretend that the violence is contained to a bullet, denying that the death of any human undoubtedly fosters and perpetuates more hatred and violence.

I hate how you create a hierarchy of righteousness, labeling torture against our enemies as necessary, and the torture of others elsewhere as human rights violations; calling the poor who steal as criminals, and the rich who eradicate homes and pension funds as businessmen; calling those who defend their families in the inner cities as gang members and those who defend their country as soldiers.

I hate how you have convinced people that despite everything that our religions preach against, you are moral and for a greater good.

I hate how you manipulate us into believing that through violence we can achieve peace, despite basic logic showing that hate cannot breed love and falsities cannot breed truth.

I hate you so much I will refuse to use you to fight you. I hate you so much that I refuse to hate you. Instead I will deny your power by believing that the assumed powerlessness in nonviolence is power itself. I will strip away your aggression until you are cold and vulnerable, and re-dress you with the warmth of the human spirit. I will slowly starve you out of my life by refusing to feed your lies and then force feed you with love. I will tear down your walls of barbed wire and build bridges across the canyons of separation. Although I will not be active in violence, nor I will be passive in peace.

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