As equals

Somewhere, I read that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is all about love. I like that. I think it’s true—all kinds of discrimination, hate and suffering can only be destroyed by love.

In her book All About Love: New Visions, the philosopher Bell Hooks (or, as she prefers, bell hooks) defines love as the will to extend or expand oneself for the purpose of allowing the spiritual self to flourish—including the selves of others. According to the existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, love is edifying. Love is a verb; it does something. But that is not all! In a letter to his then-fiancée Regine Olsen, Kierkegaard wrote, “Freedom is the element of love.

Love requires freedom. Or only free people can love.

I propose an understanding of freedom as being with friends. Freedom is the manifestation of a complete or meaningful relationship. Every relationship always assumes something that is not oneself. Love cannot therefore be reduced to self—love is, rather, an external force that arouses joy.

Seen in this light, I believe that the BLM movement shows a will to love, as it tries to overcome the devastating sadness that comes in the face of exploitation, discrimination, abuse of power, violence and death.

Read the rest of the essay here.