I’ve been thinking about something President Obama said in his heartfelt eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney at the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 26, 2015. If we, as a nation, can do what he suggests, we just might put another piece in the puzzle of solving hate’s violence. Yes, Barack Obama honored Reverend Pinckney and all those who suffer unnecessarily and mercilessly from hate.
Obama said: “Perhaps we can reflect on what we do to cause our children to hate.”
That’s no simple statement. It’s a call to action. For us to see that the problem of hate originates in each of us. As a psychoanalyst, feelings of hate are a part of my work. If we understand the roots of our hate – we aren’t so likely to project it and make someone else its object. It’s a big and slow-going task. But, if we take the time to look inside, the solution to hate’s insidious destructiveness can begin with each of us, one by one.
Obama’s appeal calls upon us to do several very important things:
2. Take personal responsibility.
3. Help find a solution, beginning with us.
4. Be a part of change.
Can we take time to think about what Obama said in his eulogy for Reverend Pinckney? Can we look at how we might pass this on, consciously or unconsciously, to our children? And, if we become aware that our hate is too strong, can we find the courage to get help locating its roots and working them out?