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One Year of Letters

hateimages17 October 2014

Dear Colleen,

This week you’ve been thinking a lot about hate. It affects all of us, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Hate ranges from the petty, such as a dislike of certain foods, to global expressions that take millions of lives. You can’t avoid feeling hate, nor can you avoid being affected by others’ acts of hatred. You don’t believe anyone who claims to never feel hate; it’s far too primitive an instinct for us to suppress.

As a privileged white person living in a supposedly free country, you’ve been spared the first-hand horror of war and genocide. You haven’t felt the sting of racism, though you’ve witnessed it first hand. Still, your personal experience includes discrimination based on gender, marital status, and political beliefs. You know what it’s like to have somebody judge you—and indeed despise you—according to the thinnest of reasons…

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