From Hate to Love

15 Nov 2011

Susan Schorn, for McSweeney’s:

I don’t know why I was surprised when the election of a black President drove our country stark raving insane. I really should have seen that one coming.

Post-racial America is a utopian ideal. It is the future that we hope for, if not for ourselves, then for our children – a future in which we have realized Dr. King’s dream of a nation wherein all people are judged by the content of the character. Color, creed, and gender become cosmetic in favor of dedication. It is the ultimate acknowledgment that we are all, from the marrow in our bones to the surface of our skin, human beings.

The problem is not racism; it is not sexism; it is not bigotry. These are symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself. The truth, despite my claims to the contrary, is that I am as much a part of the problem as the Ann Coulters or the Pat Buchanans of the world, because I share their disease: hate, that simple emotion that separates us from each other and keeps us from utopia. The difference between them and I is a matter of direction, a question of whom we aim towards, but it is the taking up of slings and arrows that is the problem, not the target.

I know that hate cannot drive out darkness, that only love can do that, but I do not know how to get myself beyond my hatred. I have not learned how to prevent my rage when I hear Ann Coulter speak. If I cannot master myself, how can I expect her to? How do we get from hate to love?