We have all been told that popular childhood saying, "Hate is a strong word," but I don't think the saying means what we think. Ever since the land was invaded by the European countries, America has become synonymous with an active volcano when it comes to "hate." There are times where the magma sits below the surface and times when it seems like lava is burning everything it touches. As a species, we have humiliated, prosecuted, mutilated, and executed people for the arbitrary reasons that make them different from the general population. No one has control over the way they are born, but for some reason people don't accept that? Why? What makes my neighbor different from me? Their skin tone? Their religion? Their nationality? Their sexuality? Their disabilities? Their gender? None of this matters when the world is burning. People are dying because of these reasons and not a single one of them can help it.
Over the last couple of centuries, there has been a separation between dark skin and light skin. Fighters against this injustice include: Malcolm X, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, and many other unnamed/unrecognized figured who worked for equality and freedom. While America has made headway towards total equality, there are still citizens that harbor ill will and dream of the “good ol’ days” of segregation and slavery. #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 after outcries and protests the excessive and fatale brutality used by police officers towards black citizens. Some people on Twitter and Tumblr have been posting positive messages to citizens and have been fighting racist responses.
Hate is the discrimination of someone or something based on at least one detail. For example, I hate green beans because of their taste, while racists hate based on skin color and nationality. One is an innocent feeling against the taste of a particular item; the other is a destructive idea that one is superior based on the amount of melanin pigmentation in their skin or where their ancestors were born. Seems silly when it’s put on paper (or rather the internet), but this is the reality for the haters and the hate-victims.
Victims who have lives and aspirations just like everyone else, but fear for their lives because of a single detail that defines them. Children get called names and get beat up because they’re different. Bullies think it’s normal to hate them because of how they were raised or that’s what their friends are doing. Parents and guardians have to work multiple shifts because their paycheck is lower than their co-workers’ paychecks. The kids get stopped and frisked when they walk home from school because “they look like trouble.” When a family has to go across town to get a bite to eat because the place down the street won’t serve them. The man in the apartment building gets death threats from people he doesn’t even know and hopefully will never meet in person. A young girl is taken out of class because her bra strap was showing. A college student’s hijab is ripped off her head while she is out with friends and told she should go back to her own country. A young man is “randomly selected” at the airport to get searched. Every non-white mass-killer is a thug or a terrorist, but when a white boy rapes a girl behind a dumpster, he is given six months and his college ID is shown, not his mugshot.
On the other hand, there are people who are judged because of their career. Specifically, police officers feel distant from general public because of their jobs. Any one who has taken a criminal justice course or known a police officer would say that police officers tend to be their own community. This is due to long hours, the authority police possess, and the horrors they witness. #BlueLivesMatter was originally created to combat the negative feelings towards police officers that have always existed; however, it has taken a new approach after the shooting of police officers in Dallas. Some people have been using #BlueLivesMatter to close the gap between average citizens and police officers by tweeting about positive encounters with police officers.
Do schools not teach to respect one another? Was I the only one to take these lessons to heart? If I chose every book based on its cover, I wouldn’t be friends with the people I am with today. Let people’s actions speak for the person, not ideas forced upon us by society standards.
Hate is universal, yet people turn a blind eye to it or make an excuse to justify it. Well, no one should justify hate. It is wrong, and we know it is wrong, but instead standing up against hate we cower or falter for we fear that we will stand alone. Still, if everyone is afraid to stand on their own, who will stand to fight? Groups like #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter are two separate but equally important groups that are taking a stand against police brutality and killing of police officers. While “all lives matter,” it is important to recognize that there are people who are told that their lives don’t matter because they are who they are and they do what they do.
People deserve to be treated as equal and not as society’s scapegoat. We, as a society, have wronged one another in one way or another. It is unacceptable. We call ourselves sentient but we are quick to judge and slow to accept. Someday, I hope that people can learn to suppress xenophobia, not others. Someday, I hope that parents do not have to worry about their children not making it home. Someday, I hope “someday” becomes “today.” Stop the hate today to make a brighter tomorrow.