@wildcrissy and I went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights @ctr4chr in ATL. One of the most impactful parts of the exhibit was an immersive experience that took you back to a sit-in that happened in Westboro, NC in 1960 at a “White’s only” lunch counter. It lasted days and as blacks and whites sat down at the counter in protest of discrimination there was an endless trail of harassment, hate, and violence that ensued. This experience asked you to sit in the seat, place both hands palms down on the counter, and put on the headphones. As you lifted the headphones off their hook the timer began.
Close your eyes, put your hands on the counter, still yourself. Now imagine the filth that can escape the lips of the most hateful racists. Your chair begins to shake. The yelling gets worse. Someone hits you. You can’t move. Keep your hands on the counter. Don’t retaliate. Larger groups start to congregate. You can feel the walls of hate closing in. A glass shatters. More yelling. Your chair is being yanked left and right. Then it happens, they attack.
I lasted 9 seconds.
58 years is a blink in the timeline of this life, but for some it was the difference between being treated as trash and being afforded basic human decency.
Think about that the next time you judge someone before you understand them. Humans hate others when they fear them. They fear them because they don’t know them. They don’t know them because they cannot communicate.
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