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  • Linda Williams

Fear or Hatred; Digging Deeper

Do you believe the current state of our country is fueled by hatred or fear? I thought about this question and I wanted to put it out there for your input.

Henry Box Brown was a Virginia slave in the 19th century. Although he married and had children, his family lived on a different plantation in Virginia. Mr. Brown discovered his wife and children were being sold to a plantation in North Carolina (which was a world away without transportation). The agonizing fear that he would never see his family again drove him to desperate measures. He didn't try to kill others or start an insurrection. "He acknowledged that, through his faith in God, he was given the inspiration and courage to put together a creative plan of escape from slavery (PBS.com)." With the help of a friend, Henry Box Brown mailed himself in a box 3 feet long by 2 feet wide to the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia which was his ticket to freedom (You can read the full story here: https://www.pbs.org/black-culture/shows/list/underground-railroad/stories-freedom/henry-box-brown/.).

While fear and hatred are based in emotions, I believe hatred is a result of fear. When I think about the Civil Rights Movement, January 6th Insurrection, and other acts of violence toward others, they seem to be acts of hate but rooted in fear. White supremacy is a movement that promotes the white race to be superior. But, in a country for whom none of the founders were natives, it seems hypocritical. Furthermore, in a country where Africans were brought against their will as slaves, fearing for their lives then (as their ancestors still fear today) because the people who brought them here don’t want them to advance, is absurd. Mr. Brown had a real fear for his life and the lives of his family. Yet, he found a way to freedom without being violent or inflicting pain on others.

Here's a thought; Let’s ask for inspiration (as Henry Box Brown did). We can resolve our fear individually without hurting others (physically or psychologically). We cannot change what has already happened or get rid of the people that are already here. what we can do is, each of us, as individuals, take a step that will begin to change this country from one of fear and hatred to one of unity, civility, and acceptance.


So, what are you inspired to do?


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