5 Things to Do When Hateful Groups Come to Town

Struggling with the news of the white nationalists marching in Charlottesville, VA today? Or some other hateful group gathering in your area? Don't know what to do? What to say? How to deal? Here are a few thoughts just from my experience. Do what fits who you are in this season of your life, and if there's anything missing, let me know.

1. Counter-Protest
I know a lot of people who made t-shirts and banners and signs, got their cars filled up and journeyed from near and far to be present in protest to the white nationalists marching in Charlottesville this weekend. 

I respect that so genuinely, so deeply. It helps me to know that people I trust will be there standing in the gap and they'll send back an account I can trust, too.

And while there are parts of me that very much wish that were me, it's not where I am, not in this season of my life. And that's okay, too.

2. Take a Long Bath / Go to Yoga / Go See a Movie / Eat Good Food / Get Off Facebook
We have enough racial and cultural stress to deal with on a daily basis without the headlines about attention-seeking, overcompensatingly hateful people marching in cities near us. We can't just keep thinking about it constantly. It's not healthy.

So however you're fighting the power, just be sure you take a break at some point to take care of your mind and body.

Do things that bring life to your spirit. Stay away from things that suck you into dark places. And to laugh! We have to be able to laugh.

3. Have Friends Over For Dinner
There's a woman in my community who hosted dinners for other POC in the area for a while, as a communal place of peace and safety and laughter and joy in the midst of this revival of hateful crap.

Are you so inclined? Get a group together to eat, drink, and be both mournful and merry together, in whatever order and amount you all need.

4. Write / Sing / Dance / Create
Your creativity can be an amazing educational tool, opening the eyes of your family, friends, and complete strangers to the experience of being POC in this country at this time. Whatever way you are driven to express your reactions, your feelings, your anything — do it. I certainly want to see and share it.

5. Pray
If you're a praying person, I say pray.

I definitely believe that there is a deeply spiritual aspect to the hate that grows in peoples' hearts against any other group of people or individuals.

Furthermore, fighting discrimination will mess you up spiritually if it can. It will shake your faith, it will test your patience, your convictions, your peace of mind and joy.

So if you're a praying person, I hope you pray for miraculous revelations in the minds and hearts of people currently blinded by hate and fear. And I hope you pray for walls of protection around your own mind and heart, too. 

Bonus: Are You White? Talk to Your People
I love it when I see my white friends talking to their white friends about the realities of racism and discrimination in the United States. As a person of color, I can talk and shout and write all day until my face is blue and my fingers are broken and there are some people who will just never hear me.

If you're white, you have a much greater chance of being heard out by some individuals, especially those close to you. Use that open door.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. Stay safe and have peace. ☀️