"Just as you have the instinctive natural desire to be happy and overcome suffering, so do all sentient beings; just as you have the right to fulfill this innate aspiration, so do all sentient beings. So on what grounds do you discriminate?"
I wish it was me who said these words. I wish I was capable of such beautiful, thoughtful words of wisdom. These words were what Dalai Llama had to say about hate crimes. What are hate crimes? Defined as any crime committed out of hatred for someone’s race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation or their membership in any other such social group, hate crimes are said to be the most serious of crimes because these people actually believe that what they are doing is right.
Why do people commit hate crimes? Usually, the person who commits a hate crime is sending a message to members of a certain group that they are unwelcome in a particular neighborhood, community, school, or workplace. By far, the largest amount of hate crimes has been motivated by racial bias. In addition to this, violence cause due to hatred of religions has also become a major issue in today’s society. Most such hate crimes are acts of vandalism, although personal attacks are not uncommon. Statistics show that the most “socially acceptable”, and probably the most widespread, form of hate crime among teenagers and young adults are those targeting sexual minorities. Finally, it is very sad to acknowledge that even people with disabilities have often been victims to this insanity.
It is wrong to stereotype people based on ridiculous things like skin color, where they come from or what they believe in. It is also, very wrong to judge any person simply because he is different from what you are. This is wrong, because at the end of the day, every child smiles in the same language and we all bleed red. So believing in this and making sure that your own thoughts is the first and the most important thing you could do.
Hate crimes literally tear away at the peace and harmony in a society. They serve to isolate a certain group of people in the society. In today’s world, where we are constantly trying to establish equal rights for all human beings, the thought of such happenings around the world is so discouraging. It breaks my heart, to think of people who actually think and believe that they are not good enough to belong. It breaks my heart, to think of all those people who were killed simply because they were different. It also, makes me sad to think that we as humans are capable to think such inhumane thoughts, because hate crimes, more than anything, promote slavery and other violent crimes against humanity.
Considering all these things, is it right for us to simply stand and watch? Or is there anything we could do to put an end to this?
As the young people, I believe that we are the people who can do the most. The more I think about the unfairness of it all, the more I realize that like me, many people think about it. However, nobody ever does anything about it simply because it has never happened to them. I am ridden with guilt every time I think about the things I could have done. People who are young should take initiative in such causes because if we don’t, then who does? Of course, one person alone cannot change the world. However, as long as he does his part and as soon as we all start doing what we can, we might see the world changing for the better.
To sum it up, there is still hope. There is so much we all could do and if everybody would just care a bit more about the world around them, we might actually see a hate free world. We might one day live in a world where anybody could walk free, not because the law gives them the right to; but because the fact that they were born humans give them enough rights prior to law.
"Every man, my brother. Every woman, my sister.
Every old man, my grandfather. Every old woman, my grandmother.
Every crying child, my child. Every wounded soul, my soul."
Again, these words are not my own but Frank McEwen’s. If only, we all could harbor such beautiful thoughts. The world would have been a much happier place.