Hate crimes are something I just can’t understand. I cannot fathom why people are so determined to bring negativity to the world. I cannot fathom why people exemplify the differences within others. I cannot fathom why we hate.

In this world full of variety and difference, everyone seems to be of a different age, race, ethnicity, gender, color, size, shape, orientation, everything. Everyone’s different and no two people are alike. If this is the case, then why are people so obsessed with finding similarities and discriminating against those who are different? Why is it that people must find reasons to dislike others, people they often have never even met? I simply cannot understand this fact.

Within my life, I have not witnessed a lot of hate. I have been raised to treat others equally and I follow that lifestyle and I, as a white heterosexual female, have not been a victim to discrimination. It is not apparent in my life and if it weren’t for so many lessons, documentaries, and programs on the matter, I would not think about it very often. I feel like this is true with most in my generation, at least when it comes to racial matters. When it comes to sexual orientation, it’s a different story. My father is one who greatly disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle and is very against gay rights and legalizing gay marriage. He makes it very clear that he does not want to associate with them, and does not like when I do, but he does not forbid me from it and I do not see him as one who would ever harm a person, even if they were homosexual. It does make the issue clear to me, though, and through the documentary we watched in class, the issue was even further highlighted.

Once again, it amazes me that people can have that mindset, live that lifestyle, and truly hate others they don’t even really know. It amazes me that people that seem kind, shy, and friendly and seem like they could never hurt anyone could suddenly become violent murderers, just because of one trait a person has.

As a resident assistant, these issues need to be made more apparent and clear for me so that I can address them as they come up. I need to look for signs of hate crimes and do all that I can to repair the damage they deal, and even better, prevent them from happening at all. Texas State University is a diverse campus with a wide variety of races, sexual orientations, and ages, and strives to be a friendly place for all to learn and grow. I am partly responsible for ensuring the campus remains this way.

I have witnessed discrimination against homosexuals on campus, in Tower even, and I wish to do all I can to stop and prevent this. That incident in particular greatly awakened my awareness of this awful mindset and has really allowed me to empathize with those facing discrimination. Along with this position and this class, I have become more and more aware of hate crimes and more and more against them.

For now, all I can do is try to make my residents understand each others differences and respect them, not hate them. I can share my thoughts about equality and rights and can express how I feel. For now, all I can do is spread love, not hate.

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