unlearn fear and hate, part II: Tori Amason

Tori Amason's "unlearn fear and hate" (photograph by Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova)

Tori Amason’s “unlearn fear and hate” (photograph by Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova)

“I heard about Love Letter To the World months before I decided to get my tattoo. I thought it was just a cool idea to be a part of, but after really focusing on the beautiful words of the poem, I knew it was too powerful to pass up. When deciding the exact phrase, I considered three options: ‘about change,’ ‘about revolution,’ and ‘unlearn fear and hate.’


‘about change’ and ‘about revolution’ were reminders to continue living my purpose, but then I began to think about my life’s values and passion, and the work I do around social justice issues, and one simple phrase summed it up: ‘unlearn fear and hate.’ It explains so simply the strong and difficult holds fear and hate have on our society.


I finally chose this phrase for a variety of reasons. First, because it perfectly summed up a commitment I have made to help others, specifically other White people, how to unlearn all the lies we have been taught. I also chose it to remind me to give others a little grace on their journey because unlearning something is quite difficult and it requires much practice and effort. Lastly, I chose it hoping others would see it and recognize a call to action. I hope it sparks conversation and urges others to follow the phrase.

Thinking about the phrase being a call to action is ironic since below that tattoo is one that says “Let Love Live,” which serves as an alternative option to fear and hate. I never thought about how the two tattoos related until Kurt and Kremena asked me not to hide it from the shot we did for this project. Only then did I realize that together they tell a beautiful story; if you ‘unlearn fear and hate,’ you will begin to ‘Let Love Live.’ So to everyone who sees my tattoo, I hope you realize this: You have a chance to save someone’s life.

If you do not UNLEARN, your conscious and unconscious will keep people imprisoned.

For all freedom is bound together.

Your ‘UN’education could change minds, soften hearts, and transform lives if you begin to recognize the truth instead of the lies.

Wake up because we need you!”

Tori Amason

Tori Amason’s “unlearn fear and hate” (detail)