Last week, I attended the distinguised lecture series "Hope Over Hate" with Matthew Boger on the 6th of March and Daryl Davis on the 8th of March. Both lectures took place in the evening over at the CFL.
Matthew Boger's story took place when he was kicked out of his house by his family at a very young age for being gay. From then on, he lived on the streets. One day, however, he got assaulted by a gang of homophobic white supremacist men to the point where he almost died, but thankfully he survived to tell the story. Fast forward years later, his assaulter turned over a new leaf and the two met one day, and Matthew immediately recognized him. There was tension in the beginning. However, Matthew realized over time that for him to move past that night, he had to forgive his perpetrator. Today, the both of them tell their story from their individual perspectives. This brought about an Academy award-nominated short film, Facing Fear. That evening, Matthew's lecture began with that short film, because he preferred doing his lectures by answering questions from the audience.
Daryl Davis' story was about his friendship with members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and how his friendship with them convinced 200 members to leave the Klan. Daryl is a musician, and has always questioned why white supremacists such as members of the KKK have such hatred towards him despite not knowing him. Just like how anyone else would initiate a friendship, Daryl Davis would invite the Imperial Wizard of the KKK to spend time with him in his house. The Imperial Wizard would always have a bodyguard with him whenever they have meetings, but over time, that changed. Change did not take place immediately, because despite their friendship, the Imperial Wizard still believed that the separation of races is for the benefit of each race group.
Throughout the lecture, Daryl emphasized on how ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds hatred, amd hatred breeds destruction. Many times we want to destroy that fear because it frightens us. However, he states that we should "stop addressing the symptoms, start addressing the source" which is ignorance. He also emphasized that ignorance is wrong decision-making, whereas stupidity is making the wrong decisions despite having facts. He concluded with, "give them facts because you will alleviate their ignorance". And that was how Daryl Davis convinced the Imperial Wizard to give up his robe which he brought to the lecture that evening for us to see.
Until next time,