“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.“ — bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, 2003
I found this quote when bell hooks died in December. I was not familiar with her name or her books, but as I read her words they spoke to me.
Keeping people afraid is a very effective way of controlling us. It is used in businesses, churches and even by the leaders of our government. It has been so effective in recent years that it is threatening to undo much of the progress our country has made in trying to overcome the damage done by slavery and systemic racism.
As a country we have become so afraid many believe that only white Evangelical Christian Americans belong here. People who have differing opinions don’t even want to talk to each other, they just want to blame and point fingers.
It is time to start realizing we are acting out of fear and see the damage it is causing. Then we can start to move through the fear and start coming together to create a world of shared values and meaningful community.
To read more about bell hooks, the remarkable woman whose words inspired todays post go to this obituary published by CNN.