Op-Ed: Hate Cannot Be Explained

Rev. Damaris Whitaker is the first Latina to serve as Senior Minister at The First Church of Christ in Hartford
Rev. Damaris Whitaker is the first Latina to serve as Senior Minister at The First Church of Christ in Hartford

Rev. Dr. Damaris Whitaker
Special to CTLatinoNews.com
Editor’s note: Rev. Damaris Whitaker wrote this op-ed in response to a CTLatinoNews.com story that reported on how conservative Latino Republicans in Connecticut were grappling with a potential Trump candidacy and how they explained their potential vote.  
I think it is safe to say that the people of the United States have been inflicted with great suffering this election season. There are words full of hate that we will never forget, there are actions we cannot un-see. Indeed, America’s footprints have been lost in the darkness ‘tus huellas se ha perdido entre la oscuridad’.
Most injurious, this season, have been the attempts of many to explain his [Trump’s] hateful acts. But, hate, my friends, cannot be explained. It is deeply rooted in implicit biases and it stretches its branches in the shadow of ignorance.
Many have alluded to the fact that under the First Amendment we enjoy freedom of speech and any candidate has the right to speak their mind. Well, freedom of speech has its limitations and hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. Neither is the incitement of violence.
It is in this climate, that Christians around the country will be celebrating Holy Week. The Week begins with Palm Sunday. What is most important in the Palm Sunday story, when Jesus enters into Jerusalem, is that: Jesus’ procession was a counter-procession.
Still unknown to many today, there were two processions that same day–the empire’s procession and the peasant procession.
It was the beginning of Passover, the most sacred week in the Jewish year.
On the west side of the city, Pontius Pilate entered with pageantry and a great column of imperial solders. His objective was to affirm the Roman empire and to remind the people that the empire was still in charge.
On the east side, Jesus with very little preparation rode on donkey into the City and he was cheered by people from the peasant class. This procession was a political protest to the empire’s procession.
The people at the time lived under what is described as a “domination system”  that was characterized by three major elements: a) political oppression, b) economic exploitation and c) religious legitimation.
These domination systems were a way of organizing a society in ancient and pre-modern times. Nonetheless, I would argue that the core elements of such domination systems remain to be alive and well throughout our society today.
Our current political system provides fertile ground for the few to rule the many. Our taxation laws and economic systems continue to create inequality. And, certainly, some have felt free to use God’s name to justify anti-immigration reform, to strip women of their reproductive rights, discriminate against the LGBTQ community and keep every American armed with assault weapons. The domination system is still alive and well in America.
Friends, I too find myself looking for America amid the suffering of the inflicting wounds this election season.  But I chose to enter the City from the east, in protest. Raising my voice for immigrants and refugees; raising my voice for the LGBTQ community and their inherent rights; raising my voice for women and their reproductive rights; raising my voice for Black Lives Matter; raising my voice for Justice and Peace. I hope you join me.
Rev. Dr. Damaris Whitaker is the first Latina to serve as Senior Minister at the historical First Church of Christ in Hartford.  This opinion article  reflects her personal views.

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3 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Hate Cannot Be Explained

  1. Dr. – Check your definition of hate. It needs to be updated and not dumbed down to mean anything said with which you don’t agree. This country clearly has an immigration problem. We don’t control our borders and as a result we have people living here who should not be. I have traveled abroad and you don’t overstay your visa let alone break into a country. I have a co-worker who stayed in the U.S. too long, admitted it and has been denied reentry for a period of years. She didn’t break in. So check your dictionary for what passes for “hate.” Writing about it in the way you do is misleading and dishonest – and worsens the political climate. It most certainly doesn’t heal it or bring us to a higher plain. Not even close.

  2. Damaris thank you for this op-ed and i appreciate the open stance you have always taken for those without the underlying US currency, power. I too am waging a war against hate and the media and uninformed comments like those in the article you reference and even above. The war is not to inflict one group over another but the war is on for those of us with little or no power to influence the world we live in. Its easy to fall in line with the so called majority mindset which is flamed by fear, paranoia, and hate and hope at the end of it all we will be better off. The thing with that though is the WE actually do have another choice, which is to rebuke the majority and with our resistance, force us to reach for a world greater than our differences. I’m the daughter of immigrants and yes undocumented for a period of time. I know we didn’t take a thing from this country. In fact my parent gave and gave even when they should not have. When i was 18, i followed their lead and gave the only thing i had to this country, my military service, i gave again through my work, and everyday i seek opportunities to give even if its a smile or sometimes forcing myself to stay in the room amidst hateful speech. Immigrants are not a breed they are people and majority really good people who work over night so that our bathrooms are clean, and there’s no trash in our offices. They have dreams and often those dreams are not achieved by them but by their children and rooted in their will to not loose themselves in our chaos and hate. This issue is about laws that no longer work for America. There are laws around an unjust system that if fixed could mean the US’s saving grace. The immigrant that come are younger, their economic contribution is well into the Trillions for the US, not to mention if they were allowed to work they could underwrite the social security of those riding the silver tsunami. Wake up we need to evolve and adjust our laws and “border security” by using the billions we spend on a fence like we used on native Americans and invest in technology that makes our border permeable (in both directions) and really separate US contributors to US non-contributors. This reform and others we seek to make needs to equitably work not be driven by divisiveness.

  3. Hello CT Latino,
    I’m a resident of Hartford. And I want to know why Rev. Dr. Damaris Whitaker and other Latinos are not supporting The Hartford Guardian’s publisher, Dr. Ann-Marie Adams. She was a part of the DNC project to raise Afro Latinos. Instead, we don’t see a profile of her on your site. We in Hartford are very disturbed by your community’s need to pretend she is not an Afro Latino. And we want to know why there’s no public outcry from you and other Latino officials who want them to vote for them. The Black and White community will have to raise their voices in this election about what we have been watching for more than a year.

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