Extremists are trying really, really, really hard to drag this country backwards through time. We have to fight to go forwards. The genie of hatred won’t go back in its lamp easily or quickly. When you encounter the ‘reasonable racist’ believing every word of the propaganda he spouts, his entire life built on fictions, it’s quite disturbing. I am clueless as to how we might create a bridge into such minds to change them.
You can’t just live with a hater, hoping they’ll change by observing you going about your business; you can’t break bread with an extremist whose willingness to eat with you depends upon your race or religion. And yet, somehow, minds need to be changed.
Nazism was a violent extremist horror defeated only after its evil had been active for years – when the scale of its wrongness, its murderous crimes, was known, seen, documented, broadcast. I don’t want to think such evil as that has to run a certain terrible course before it is defeated. I want to believe we can change our direction of travel. We have to stop those who seek to traumatise and radicalise others.
Not one of us is in a position where we aren’t called upon to either be a force for good or an agent of evil. It’s that stark and binary a choice. Extremists will rob us all if we don’t take a stand against the hate and intolerance.
Andrew’s latest book, myfibromyalgia: one man’s experience of living with chronic illness, is out now in all Amazon store territories the world over. The ebook is £5.99 and the paperback £8.99. UK Amazon link.