Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Spread Hate?

Last month was Black History month; a time to remember and celebrate all of the individuals who fought to make sure that every individual in the US has equal rights, regardless of one’s race.
At the end of this month of recognition, I was shocked to learn that my former high school had instated a policy of searches and “see-through backpacks” for its students in response to “threats mixed up with racial intimidation (which) has created a very tense environment.”

Students line up outside Daniel Boone HS
Photo courtesy of Pottsmerc.com

I attended Daniel Boone High School from 2003 – 2007. During my time there, there were the standard fake bomb threats and graffiti that unfortunately have become common in high schools today, but there was never any racial tension or specific threats made, at least not that I was aware of.

Where did this hatred come from and did it grow to this magnitude in our very own community? But it’s not just here in Berks County, lately it seems as if sentiments of hate and disrespect are ever more prominent everywhere I look.

While last month was one marked for recognition of the fight for civil rights, March, Women’s History month, is meant for recognizing those who fought for women’s rights. Yet at the very start of the month, and one week before International Women’s Day, a day meant to celebrate and show respect for all women in the world, Rush Limbaugh delivered a slap in the face to all us ladies. By proclaiming that Sandra Fluke, a third-year Georgetown University law student who testified in front of Congress for the need of contraceptive coverage by student health insurance, is a “slut” and “prostitute” he sent an ignorant message of disrespect and hate to women everywhere.

And for what? Cause he thought might get a chuckle out of it? Since when is personally attacking and slandering someone’s character and actions funny? I think it’s safe to say that you have gone way too far when the President himself speaks out against comments you’ve made.

The most upsetting thing about incidents such as Limbaugh’s blatant disrespect for all the women in this country and the up-cropping of racial tension at Daniel Boone is that they are certainly not uncommon.

Women have been referred to as “sluts” and “prostitutes” simply based on the way that they dress, their use of contraception (both women who do and do not use contraception), and other behaviors, since the very beginning (see: Mary Magdalene).

No one is safe...

Racism and prejudice, in all forms, has been consistent in society throughout history (once again, see: The Bible). The most recent form seems to be discrimination and harassment of individuals of the LGBT community, an issue that is visible in the media every day.

But, again, my question is why? Why is it necessary to call a woman a “slut” or “fat”, to use racial slurs, to make threats, or to bully and humiliate?  In a time when acceptance, respect, and love for others should be growing and celebrated in our society, why do we continue to hate and discriminate against others based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.? What does any one person gain from spreading hate towards other human beings? The only thing that comes from that is more hate.

We should all demonstrate respect and love for everyone every single day. It’s the only way we will be able to continue grow as a community, nation, and society.

Let Love In.

Unless you want to go back to how everyone was treated in Biblical times...

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