Us and Them

I’ve been in too many internet arguments where people have attempted to position me by race and religion – thinking that to side with moderate Muslims is to support terrorism, or that voting one way or the other is anti-British and so forth. The logic of us and them, where ‘us’ is defined by some apparent commonality and ‘them’ by some kind of difference that I find irrelevant.

As Brexit brings out the worst in my country in terms of racism, hate, and twisted thinking, I find I too need the language of us and them. I want to draw my lines in the sand.

Us. Co-operative and willing to negotiate, open to diversity and willing to listen. Inclined to get on with our own things, peaceably and feeling no need to ram our beliefs or lifestyles down anyone else’s throat. Perfectly happy to accommodate anyone else who is quietly getting on with their own thing. Absolutely intolerant of hate, violence and any kind of activity largely designed to make other people miserable and/or force them to conform to some spurious standard.

Them: Driven by hate, greed, fear, resentment. Happy to blame vast swathes of people for the actions of the few, but often not willing to take the action that would curtail the violence of the few (see American gun law as a case in point). Unable to bear difference and wanting to hurt, punish or control anyone not like them. Willing to use violence to this end. Happy to see other humans, other life forms and the planet as collateral damage when it comes to seeing their agenda through. Devoid of compassion and empathy. Likely to announce that they live in the real world and that the rest of us are stupid, naive and need to grow up.

This is not about skin colour. It’s not about who you’d like to rub genitals with. It’s not about your religion or the absence of religion. It’s not about whether you are ill, or well, where you were born, what political party you support or anything else of that ilk. It’s about how you treat other humans, other life forms, and whether you want to co-operate for peaceful coexistence with the peaceful coexisters around you, or whether you want to do it the other way.

If your preference is peaceful co-operation, I stand with you, because the rest is just detail.

If you are all about hurting, damaging, disempowering, killing other people, you are my sworn enemy. I will fight you in every way I can think of – with words, and at the ballot box, with action, with any reasonable means at my disposal, and if you pose a real physical danger to someone, I will do whatever I can to stop you by whatever means are at my disposal at the time. And no doubt as I do this, you will wail about your right to free speech, your human rights, and how you are being oppressed, because you’re quick to co-opt the language of decency to protect your indecency.

But the thing is, tolerance is not the key thing for me, co-operation is the key thing, and co-operation is active, discernible. I’m not tolerating anyone in the ‘us’ camp because I don’t need to. I’m co-operating with them. And I’m certainly not going to tolerate the hate-based bullshit and the whinging used to try and justify it.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

13 responses to “Us and Them

  • garycohenblog

    An interesting post. Personally I have witnessed abuse on both sides in the recent EU referendum. I have witnessed those who wished to stay in the EU making hostile comments towards those that chose to leave; calling them racists, anti Islamists etc. The people I know who voted out are none of these things. Their view was based on the way they felt the country should be governed, not the dislike of other races etc. I have found the split interesting as I have witnessed many more remain voters to be more angry and resort to abusive name calling than the exit voters. That said I acknowledge the vile racist abuse many have suffered in relation to recent events and my comment only relates to certain social networks that I have personally witnessed.

  • Ella Wherry

    The fuel for freedom is reflected in your own second to last paragraph…because racism, hatred are not the normal human condition. There is a song, “…in order to hate, you have to be carefully taught.”

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Interesting that I have never seen a solution to a problem created by figuring out who to blame. We only solve problem when we are willing to cooperate with others, including those that may disagree with us.

  • Scott tizzard

    I am ex military. Be careful of what words you use. Thoughts become reality. If you have never been on the delivering or receiving end of mechanized death, then consider yourself fortunate. If and when war comes; it will come of it own shape of madness. This darkness will never ever leave you once you touch it. Be careful of your words as they create reality.

    • Ella Wherry

      Scott, you are so right on. There is too much madness already, and too much darkness. I cannot help but wonder how deeply we look at the teachings, the education and the media exposure which seems to feed us our belief systems, our prejuidices and hatreds, our judgmental stances and whether we even align with those overlaid beliefs compared with what echoes from our heart space. The manipulators/controls pull us into a manufactured, separate dark agenda, their reality for us. If and when we seek to identify and remove that overlay of well, crap, then our real core beliefs will be found and more than likely will allow us to live from the heart. We will be the creators of another kind of reality if we stand in our own power.

      • Nimue Brown

        There is a definite campaign out there to stir up hate – I assume to channel it for specific ends, but there’s every reason to think it won’t behave as intended.

  • Hodalee Scott Sewell

    it takes courage to up end status quo, whatever the intentions motivations or the like for doing so. I hope the UK is able to accomplish the things hoped for by taking this big step.

    • Nimue Brown

      I could wish we’d done it in a better considered way and with more enlightened leadership, but, you have to play the hand you’ve been dealt and we might yet make something good out of the Eton Mess.

  • locksley2010

    So say we all!

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