Recently, a video has been widely circulated within various groups in Orange County. The film highlights the numerous protestors gathered outside a humanitarian fundraiser in Yorba Linda held by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)… and the hate speech that followed.
“Go back home!”
“Mohammed was a child molestor, pervert”
“No sharia. Do you beat your wife too?”
“Take your sharia and go home… terrorist lovers.”
When we talk about genocide, we usually picture horrific acts being perpetrated somewhere far away. Yet, hate, anger, and contempt for “the other”, commonly found underneath genocidal acts, are present right here in our local community.
Emotions are highly contagious and it would be easy to want to strike back, and even to hate the haters. After all, it is not difficult in our culture to find support for vengeful attitudes, petty sniping attacks… or worse. Yet, isn’t this the sort of de-humanization that we are ultimately objecting to?
Genuine resolution is derived from the ability to empathize and see the humanity in these “others”, even when we strongly disagree or are horrified by their actions. Staying human requires dealing with our own pain and anger, and “owning” our own emotional experience.
In matters of such significance, we have got to find ways to go deeper. We formed Living Ubuntu in part to explore these issues, seeking to hold onto the humanity that connects us all, even recognizing it within those who spew hatred, or commit atrocities.
This Saturday, March 12th, we are screening Worse Than War, a film about genocide that asks the truly challenging questions such as what drives one human being to kill another with extreme brutality and cold-bloodedness. Dealing with such topics is extremely difficult. We hope to create an emotionally safe space which will allow for a more honest discussion to take place. We hope you will join us. All details regarding the event are on our website.
Amidst the rampant global hostilities, trying to keep our hearts open,
Screening of “Worse Than War”
“By the most fundamental measure – the number of people killed – the perpetrators of mass murder since the beginning of the twentieth century have taken the lives of more people than have died in military conflict. So genocide is worse than war…”
– Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Worse Than War
Saturday, March 12th
Irvine United Congregational Church
4915 Alton Parkway
Irvine, California 92604
How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner?
Join us as we screen this searingly honest examination of the causes of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Visit http://livingubuntu.org/events or call (949) 891-2005 for more information. Please help us in planning for the event and RSVP on the website.
Advocates for Peace & Justice, Irvine United Congregational Church
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
* * *
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn