Recently, I have noticed that certain parts of society still have a hesitancy to accept people that are “different” from them, or don’t align with how they want society to look, or act. People of different races, cultures, and those from the LGBT community are facing a discrimination that should not be a part of society any longer. If we don’t understand them, or their situation, how are we to empathize with them, and learn from them, as well as the mistakes of our past. This country was built in the knowledge that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. All people have these rights, The Declaration Of Independence, itself claims that people are equal, and in that it says nothing of race. It seems that even our founding fathers were more up to date on certain things than we are now, or at least had an understanding of them. For example, Alexander Hamilton , said that “Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred”. What he is saying is that if we don’t experience something, then we won’t be able to truly understand it. Or even “Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules. That these rules shall be as equal as prudential considerations will admit, will certainly be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular.” in which Thomas Jefferson welcomes immigrants, as long as they abide by the set laws.
We claim to study History so we can learn from our mistakes and try to correct them in the future, but are we? America was built on prejudice and slavery, and we need to have learned our lesson. Ignorance is the parent of fear. America was built on the backs of slaves, yet we still haven’t fully recognized and learned from the tragedy of the past. Racism is not distinguished. White supremacy is still at large, but why? Are we too ashamed of our past? Are we so comfortable in this racism that we dare not try anything else? Are we still hoping to live like our ancestors did, by hurting and using others? What action can we take to make changes? Well that last one can be simple, we can strive to make changes, even if they are small. If we were to open up to these people, and try to understand them, then we could give everyone the love and support that they deserve. If society were to be open to these people, and treat them as such, then opinions might change, or their discrimination might lessen.
An easy way to take a first step towards this is to do what we can in our own community. I think that if we were to start on a smaller scale, then moving up would be easier. Such as finding small ways to show support for people you maybe don’t understand. If there is a Pride Festival, maybe try to go, and ask questions (in a polite way) and experience a celebration of who these people are.
Or ask close friends or neighbors of a different race or ethnicity to talk to you, the worst they can say is no, and the best that could happen is a greater understanding. I believe wholeheartedly that one of the first steps to end discrimination and fear of others is to try to understand them. If you live in misunderstanding, how can you properly judge someone, and how can you learn that there is much more to a person than some defining physical qualities.