Hate Through the Lens of Humanity
“It’s difficult. It’s painful. It requires vulnerability. But if we choose to look at hate through the lens of humanity, we can totally do this.” Shannon Foley Martinez speaks from personal experience. She speaks as a former white supremacist who left the movement and now counsels others seeking to leave a life of hate behind. With the January 6th insurrection still fresh in our minds, hers is a voice worth listening to.
The world watched in horror as thousands attacked and overran the U.S. Capitol, proudly waving overt symbols of hate and anti-semitism. They spewed racial epithets at Black and Brown police officers. The anger and hatred was etched on their contorted faces. “Is this America?” one Black officer shrieked as he fought off his attackers.
It is the America that Shannon knows well and was once a part of. She wasn’t surprised on that fateful day. She saw this coming. The question we must now answer, she says, is “What do we do next?” The “we” to whom she refers is White America because, in her words, “It is not Black people’s job to save White people from white supremacy“.
This is an important conversation. Please take a moment to absorb what Shannon shares with us. Her perspective, borne of lived experience, is enormously valuable as we contemplate who we are, who we want to be…and how to get there.