“Stop wasting your time.”
“Why don’t you just ignore that stuff?”
“If it doesn’t affect you why does it matter?”
“Worry about yourself.”
“That only applies to a small group of people.”
I often hear and see these exact statements WAY too often when dealing with problems within equality gaps as well as hate crimes. Of course, most of you might not see this as a problem, because after all, if it doesn’t affect you directly, why SHOULD it matter?
Here’s the thing… I think we’re all pretty familiar with the amount of hate crimes that occur every day in this world. Quite frankly, we’re all so quick to talk about how “horrible” and “crazy” this world is because of it. Why don’t things ever get better? The answer is all too simple: WE haven’t gotten better.
From generations back, hate crimes have always occurred and some groups of humans have always been persecuted because of their differences, this is nothing new. So, let’s take a look at why this is so. For starters, racist/sexist/homophobic (or any form of bigotry) has been passed down for generations. So now, somehow, it’s 2018 and we’re still pushing these watered down habits down each other’s throats, just like we’ve always done. This being said, here is your answer as to why it has been decades and we’re still dealing with these exact same hate crimes and equality gaps.
Moving forward, it’s quite important to understand that this HAS to be the generation to change these problems. As previously mentioned, I think we are all aware there are many problems arising in the world today, and we are all also really good at complaining about it. But what’s anybody doing about it? Nothing. Things need to get better, and if you haven’t realized, what we’re doing right now clearly is not working or we wouldn’t be ever so desperately trying to battle equality gaps like we are. And no, this is not about equality gaps exclusively within the workforce, this is about being able to live a life without being persecuted for being queer, gay, black, white, transgender, male, female, etc.
So here I am.
I will dedicate every breath I have to standing up for equal rights among ALL humans, regardless of gender, race, sexual preferences, or any preferences for the fact of that matter. No human deserves to be HATED for any of these things. Pay attention to that key word. I’m also often dealt the Christian card a lot. My answer to that, AS A CHRISTIAN MYSELF is, don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you. I know we’re all taught from a young age that no sin is greater than another as well as the idea that “only God can judge us.” That being said, without going into full bible study mode, I feel it’s safe to say that it’s no longer an excuse to use your religion as a reason to hate somebody.
What’s next on the list?
“It doesn’t affect me, so I’m not worried about it.”
Does it have to take something bad happening to you, or someone you love, to make you finally stand up for something? What if it’s your sibling? A significant other? Your child? Would you care then? If I were saying I’m an activist today solely because I’ve had to live through hate firsthand, I would be lying. Sure, I’ve had to witness firsthand hate for being the way I am, but that’s not why I do this. I do this so the generations to follow don’t have to keep growing up in this cookie-cutter, defective lifestyle that many people have had to face, in more intense degrees than I could ever imagine.
My goal today, is to encourage you to stand up for SOMETHING. Stand up for EVERYTHING. We can’t influence the world to be better if we “don’t care” or if we do nothing. We’ve seen, for years now, how badly enabling hate has influenced our world. My job today isn’t to tell anyone there’s a problem. We all know undoubtedly that there’s a problem. The solution is simple:
Are you willing to think for yourself, or are you going to keep living under these bigoted standards that were passed down to you?
Are you willing to stop the hate, before it reaches someone you love?
Are you willing to accept and/or love another human, despite how vastly different they are from you?
There is no grey area here. It’s black or it’s white. You are not an ally, nor are you apart of the solution, if you choose to enable negative habits like previously mentioned. Hate has solved nothing for us. It’s been long enough.
It’s time to do something different. It’s easy to do what “we were taught to do,” but knowing what we know now… Are you willing to be courageous? People desperately need you. Stand up for yourself, but stand up for them too.