Photo by @wherethewomenwander
Listen, there is no natural way for me to transition into the subject of Nazis on A Beautiful Mess. I never dreamed that a day would come where I would feel a need or want to talk about a subject like this, but here we are.
In the past, we said we would never talk about politics on this blog. We said that because we truly do believe that there are good people on both party’s sides. We know them. I’m sure you do, too. And honestly—for a good part of these 10 years of blogging—I wasn’t that politically active. That’s not something I am proud of, but it’s true. But I guess age and probably these particularly political times have changed me. That said, there are many great debates to be had on political issues, and people way more qualified than us can give you better perspectives.
But honestly, I’m not really writing this because I’m more politically engaged. I’m writing this because this isn’t politics. This is something else entirely. I hope you will forgive me veering off our usual topics today, because this is really important to Emma and I.
Seeing the hate and violence in Charlottesville this past week was horrifying and so heartbreaking. Let’s set all politics and ambiguities aside and loudly say what may seem obvious: We do not condone racism, white supremacy or any version of Nazism in any way. We don’t want to live in a country like that and if there is anything we can do to make it better, let’s do it. Right? Right.
While yes, all violence is bad and shouldn’t be condoned, this isn’t worldwide news because of the violence, as horrific as it was. It’s news because of an ideology that’s been quietly growing, and organizing groups even stated they wanted to use this event to show off its support. There are currently 917 active hate groups in the United States. While Obama was in office, the largest white supremacist message board more than tripled with over 300,000 active users last reported. This is a brewing ideology that runs exactly against what we know to be the natural human inclination toward empathy and individual value—no matter your skin color, religion, or heritage.
So while it seems easy to get caught up in the political sports of this side and that side or who made what statement when, let’s first come together in our love for our fellow human being and emphatically denounce any group that tries to prevent that love.
Here are some ways you can be proactive and fight hate:
Ten Ways To Fight Hate
Don’t feel helpless. This list is full of real, simple things you can do! Last year, my neighbor said something kind of racist to me and I didn’t speak up as fully as I wish I had. Next time, I will be prepared to do better. This is something we can all do!
As a soon-to-be mom, I am so excited to teach my children about tolerance. This is not a one-time lesson. It’s a hundred tiny lessons that you can teach your children through the years. Be intentional, it’s such a beautiful thing to teach your children.
Life After Hate
This is an organization started by former right-wing extremists, who work with individuals to get them to leave extremist groups through education and empathy.
Please comment if you have any ideas for ways we can give, learn or support anti-racism.
We love you all. xx – Elsie + Emma