Hate is such an awful subject, as it often involves crime, violence, and pain. Awful as it may be, it exists and involves a wide range of topics. Within class, we discussed many of the ways hate is involved on campus and within crimes, and it is shocking to hear about because of the tragedy it involves.
When most people think of hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination, they usually think of issues involving race and sexual orientation. They think of old white adults hating those who are different from them, but they don’t often think that hate could exist in different ways. With so many hidden or un-thought-of topics, I appreciate that different forms of hate and discrimination were brought up within our class discussions, opening our minds to the possibilities of hate and raising awareness to the different forms it could take.
I am completely awe-stricken at the fact that hate can flow through the veins of children, after hearing about the story of the fourteen-year old children, Lawrence and Brandon. How could someone so young hate another person enough to kill him and how could someone so young kill another person just for being different? There are so many questions that arise from hearing that story, and it saddens my heart to know that Lawrence died at an early age because he chose to live a different lifestyle. Most think of adults when they think of hate crimes, making this case even more unbelievable. This demonstrates a serious issue, though. Although it may seem as if hate is decreasing within each new generation, this clearly shows that it still exists and that even the children of our generation are being raised to discriminate differences and harvest hate for those differences.
While Lawrence was killed for his sexual orientation, many more are being hated or discriminated against for different reasons. There is a well-known joke about gingers, or people with red hair, not having souls and being less of a person because of the color of their hair. Stemmed from a television series, this joke is starting to become a realistic form of hate as November 20th has been deemed, “Kick a Ginger Day.” Over the last two years, those of red-hair have been injured on this day, some even going to the hospital as a result of the injuries. Now, the question is being asked if this really is a hate crime.
Many other traits are now becoming terms for hate, such as homelessness, height, weight, and the mix of ethnicities. Many of these are being questioned to figure out if they should be considered hate crimes. Often ignored or dismissed as mere jokes, these forms of discrimination can be hurtful to people and should not be encouraged or continued.
As resident assistants, it is our responsibility to watch for harmful or hateful acts within the residence halls and put an end to them, especially if they have the potential of worsening. While race and sexual orientation are major forms of hate to watch for, there are other forms that are not as common or brought up that should be stopped as well. It is up to us to be aware of all forms of hate and it is up to us to raise awareness and stop them.