On the Receiving End of Hate

My cousin and I were texting about Trumps insult towards Haiti. She said: He’s so disrespectful it is really upsetting and I’m trying to emotionally block him out
This was my response:
It’s like a blow
I felt kicked in the stomach,
I felt shame
And then I felt shame about feeling shame.
I know this isn’t true so why am I hurt?
the capitalist life
Many of us give this materialistic socioeconomic system our time and energy so we can stay alive.
I play the game
I try to win
Most of all I want to safe,
And then the spiritual life
Most of us can only give a portion our non working hours to the spiritual life
For most of us that amount gets smaller every year
Of course we get entangled in the material way of seeing things
And when the leader and representative of our economic system insults an aspect of ourselves
We feel it
We’re suppose to better than this
Ideals values integrity
The stuff of children movies, 50s sitcoms and comic books
Believing that good will triumph
That hard work and integrity mean something
But this economic system is rigged
What he says hurts me because he’s voicing a shadow in this culture. From a purely economic perspective, many people can and do dismiss Haiti. It’s because of the popularity of a “might makes right” attitudes like his and historical oppression from the west especially from France and America that Haiti is poor. Because that way of thinking is so prevalent. In this country we’re brainwashed to see things from that kind of materialistic point of view. In most disney movies or superhero stories wining at the end is proof that you are magic, right and good. It’s natural that I would feel anger sadness and shame. It’s painful to be around that ideology and to see it in myself.
Deep down we know that the spirit and spirituality is more important than the money. The art and culture of Haiti is special. Every culture is special. It hurts because that’s not the way a lot of people think. Trump is encouraging people’s worse natures. No one thrives in a culture of bullying and materialism. And the people who are economically disadvantaged will suffer the most.
I understand the urge to block out his words. I encourage you to cry it out and feel the pain because pain has more power the more it’s repressed. Please cry, rather than insult Trump. Strive to understand your feelings. Honor the pain, rather than strike out. By condemning we replicate his emotionally stunted way of being in the world. By crying we release. With time, a more evolved response full of intelligence, action and compassion can emerge.

Phoenix Soleil is an artist, activist and teacher. She is passionate about the intersections of community, emotional intelligence and trauma.She is a partner at LIFT Economy where she helps businesses increase their emotional intelligence and collaboration skills.She has led trainings in communication, racial justice and emotional resiliency for individuals, groups, and organizations such as Google, Kellogg Foundation, UC Berkeley, and Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. Check out her website for upcoming trainings, and more info on her artistic endeavors:phoenixsoleil.com.

3 thoughts on “On the Receiving End of Hate

  1. I look at this entirely different… the countries mentioned have totally failed to act in the best interest of the populist. Why do they want to come to America… It’s obvious. They come from countries that oppressed them.. it’s the leaders and the government that are the evil ones. Anyways… I was touched by your great poem…
    It’s easy to justify miscommunication.. This is a failure of both the communicator and the receiver. I always ask myself are my gut reactions valid or just possible could there be other explanations. We tend to think we can read others minds… WE CAN’T… If we could my wife of 49 years would have never had an argument… Each one of us is an individual’, ruled by our psychology, physiology, and life’s experiences that continually changes every second of the day.
    My personal concept is to never assume… Regarding the crash of light 700 off Long Island, my immediate response was that this was a terror attack… I was angry… but a great fired of mine, said, we do not know the facts at this time… and he was correct a year later. I felt great shame and foolish.
    With that philosophy I can honestly say that I have no grapes with Trump. WE disagree on many things… But who am I to say, I’m right and another is wrong.. Yes it takes courage to admit that I make mistakes…
    One can argue that God is cruel when he designed us… A trick… or in his Wisdom, know that if we were perfect… we would be, but we can’t be happy without feeling sad.. Yes, painful but also joyful… is the better option than “NOTHING”. .

  2. Thank you, Phoenix, for sharing this guidance to feel fully the ongoing tragedy of having a President who denies humanity in the name of capitalism (or whatever else is convenient to him). That we have a President who casually ignores centuries of oppression and launders white supremacy through capitalism by dismissing people from Haiti, Africa, Mexico, and so many others is heartbreaking, but it is our reality, so action has to be taken from bearing witness to that reality. Thanks, Phoenix, for your wisdom and vulnerability in sharing your response to the President’s unconscionable words and actions.

  3. Dear Phoenix,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I am so devastated that we have a “leader” who thinks and talks this way. I hold out hope that we will not let him lead us, that we will do as you say: find many many responses, full of intelligence, action and compassion.

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