I saw this video online today on Upworthy. It’s an experiment regarding hate speech that was done in Lithuania. The people think they are waiting for a casting call. It’s an English speaking black man who has received a hate message on his Facebook page in Lithuanian. He asks random white people to translate the message for him.
What is amazing is the hurt and pain in the faces of the translators first as they read the hate message and then again as they translate it for the man. They don’t want to translate it. They are embarrassed, apologetic. What is interesting to me is that even though this is an experiment, everyone in this video is affected.
The black man is affected by the message being sent to him.
The translators are affected by reading the message and perhaps more affected by having to explain it.
And the one who sent the message. Perhaps they are most affected by the hate, because they learned that hatred and may never unlearn it.
It was very unsettling to me. And at the same time good to know that so many people are uncomfortable with hate speech. We need more of that.
It was also good to know that these people were able to put themselves in the shoes of the man receiving the message. They hurt for him, they wanted to protect him, they didn’t want to hurt him with the words, even though the words belonged to someone else, not to them.
There’s hope, I think. I think this video shows there is hope.