In the letter that was shared today, "Letters of Note" found one of the most powerful letters I've ever read or seen on the question of...must we hate them? The letter was written by a Jamaican-born mechanic, Canute Frankson, in 1937 as he was fighting in the Spanish Civil War against Franco. The letter was to a friend back home, who wanted to know why, he a Negro man (wording from the letter) was fighting alongside white people, the same white people that had hated and enslaved people like him. Canute preceded to write one of the most impassioned arguments for why hate must not be allowed to win.
Here's a small part of that letter, just to give you an idea of what Canute writes:
All we have to do is to think of the lynching of our people. We can but look back at the pages of American history stained with the blood of Negroes, stink with the burning bodies of our people hanging from trees; bitter with the groans of our tortured loved ones from whose living bodies, ears, fingers, toes, have been cut for souvenirs—living bodies into which red-hot pokers have been thrust. All because of a hate created in the minds of men and women by their masters who keep us all under their heels while they such our blood, while they live in their bed of ease by exploiting us.
But these people who howl like hungry wolves for our blood, must we hate them? Must we keep the flame which these mastered kindled constantly fed? Are these men and women responsible for the programs of their masters, and the conditions which force them to such degraded depths? I think not. They are tools in the hands of unscrupulous masters. These same people are as hungry as we are. They live in dives and wear rags the same as we do. They too are robbed by the masters, and their faces kept down in the filth of a decayed system. They are our fellowmen. Soon and very soon they and we will understand. Soon many Angelo Herndons will rise from among them, and from among us, and will lead us both against those who live by the stench of our bunt flesh. We will crush them. We will build us a new society—a society of peace and plenty. There will be no color line, no jim-crow trains, no lynching. That is why, my dear, I'm here in Spain.
So please, take a moment, and go read this letter and ask yourself, must we hate them? Must we hate those that are not like us?