“Somebody will always hate me.”
My daughter said these words to me yesterday, after her high school class discussed the recent rash of Anti-Asian hate crimes.
I wish I could say she was wrong–but I try not to lie about the big things.
This is the face of my family. My Asian American husband (of Japanese Korean descent). Myself a white Jewish woman (100% Eastern European Jew–raised in a Conservative family). Our beautiful daughter, who is the perfect mixture of both of us–but can also easily pass as white.
So far, our daughter has been lucky. She hasn’t experienced things first hand–or at least realized she was. She has heard our stories though. Stories of hateful comments, violence, fear. Stories of being treated as lesser than because of being a woman. Stories of being questioned (illegally) about citizenship. Stories about the hate that fills this world.
We told them to her because she has a right to know. We did not tell them to her so she would live her life in fear. We try not to live in fear. Still, we live in a world where acts of hate have become glorified.
After all, a white man can still get away with murder, and have his horrendous act blamed on “a bad day.” Anyone can easily purchase a gun and then be celebrated for shooting down someone of color, or someone of a different gender, or anything else that is seen as outside the “norm.”
Women can still be blamed for their own rape, while men walk away unscathed.
As she pointed out, we live in a world where somebody will always hate her.
Hatred is not the fault of one group, one type, one belief system. It has edged its way into our very being–as if it has become part of our DNA.
It’s difficult to even respond to acts of hate, without feeling true anger yourself. Even as I prefer to choose love, there are still people I would never forgive. People who allowed their hate to turn violent. People who will never see past their own walls.
Isn’t that, in itself, a form of hate?
But the truth is, that I am heartbroken for my daughter. For I know that she is right. Somebody will always find a reason to hate her.
All I can do is counteract that by giving her the strength to love herself. And standing against hate of all kinds. I believe that love is more powerful than hate.
Now is the time to prove it.