Turn An Enemy Into A Friend? (The Power of Relationships)

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This piece originally appeared at the now disappeared The Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow website, but I thought it was worth re-posting here.


The Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow is dedicated to bringing people together, fighting Xenophobia and promoting empathy. We don't pursue this by pretending that we're all the same but by considering music that's not like our own. By not only accepting but celebrating our differences. 

Yes, we know that this sounds like "pie in the sky" hippy-dippy idealism. And it might very well be. But wouldn't life be better if we didn't give in to fear? Wouldn't it be nice if we not only just thought the best of each other but treated other that way? 

We're always on the hunt for people and projects that seem to share these ideals. 

Recently we had a movie screening at the Fake Offices where we watched filmmaker Deeyah Khan's documentary White Right: Meeting The EnemyThe film's website frames the film's concept:

With a US president propagating anti-Muslim propaganda, the far-right gaining ground in German elections, hate crime rising in the UK, and divisive populist rhetoric infecting political and public discourse across western democracies, Deeyah Khan’s WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY asks why.

Khan travels the country to meet and talk with White Nationalists/White Supremacists face-to-face. She asks pointed questions and many of the interactions are uncomfortable but we can not applaud this film enough. Khan's courage continually displays the humble confidence of empathy and it's so encouraging to see her efforts have some impact. 

Watching the film, we couldn't help but be reminded of the 2016 film Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America. Daryl Davis has been a professional musician but it's his other work which prompted this documentary. Over the years, Davis, a Black man, has intentionally befriended members of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Of course we might initially think this is crazy. Who wants to befriend someone who hates you? Who wants to love their enemy? But believe it or not, Davis has shown that the power of relationship, the power of understanding can change minds. Khan's movie demonstrates the same thing. It's easy to fear (hate) what we don't know. 

Khan and Davis have shown us the power of empathy in action. Rather than distancing themselves from their (perceived) enemies, they moved in closer. They wanted to understand and they ended up being heard. And seen. And they have shown us that change can happen. 

This is exactly the type of work we can and will get behind. 

Of course all of this is easier said than done. But what might change in the world if we each sought out at least one way to live out these principles? 

If you haven't seen them, we recommend watching both of these movies. We'd love to hear your thoughts once you've done so. 

  • Visit Deeyah Khan's official website

  • Follow Deeyah Khan on Facebook

  • Visit the official website for the White Right: Meeting The Enemy

  • Visit Accidental Courtesy's official website

  • Purchase Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America on Amazon

Watch the trailer for White Right: Meeting The Enemy

Watch the trailer for Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America