No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Hate and violence hath no bounds.
Early morning June 12, 2016 50 people were killed and more wounded at Pulse Nightclub, a gay night club in Orlando, Fl. As parents and family members wait to hear the fate of their loved ones and as the gun violence toll continues to climb in America, I am left wondering the plight of our values as a country.
Values have been a heavy dividing factor in society; they have been instrumental in formulating strong ideological basis for the inner workings of society. However, certain values are not only serving to infringe on different individuals' value systems but are inciting hate that ignites unsafe and unequal climates.
While there are plethora of different value systems worldwide and in the United States, it seems that the intrinsic value placed on the equality of all human life has been repeatedly ignored throughout history in the United States.
About 148 years ago religion served as a reason to enslave millions, involving years of public lynchings that went unpunished.
Prior to 1920 values prevented women from voting.
Prior to 1965 black people had unequal rights to vote due to certain values.
Prior to June 26, 2015, gay marriage was not legal in all 50 states.
To this day, loud declarations have to be voiced that black, transgender, gay, Native American, and other disenfranchised people's lives matter because society is entrenched with values set on separation instead of equality.
Even when progress has been made toward equality for all human beings, many resist this, fighting strongly to hold on to often discriminatory value systems.
This holding on to value systems can be seen in Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again"--a message that harkens back to a time when discrimination lived freely.
It can be seen in Christian groups boycotting gay pride parades, gay marriage, and transgender bathroom rights.
Imposed personal value systems can be seen in Brock Turner's rape culture influenced sentencing where the life quality of the sexual assaulter was considered more than the extremity of the crime and the safety of other women.
Having personal values are not the problem. The problem lies in individuals seeking their value system as the standard for governing a country that is based on freedom and equality of its citizens. Upholding personal value systems as if they are law only perpetuates an "us against them" mentality that often leads to reasons to hate groups of people that exercise their right within the law to live by their values as human beings.
Speech does not have to be overtly hateful to perpetuate hate. And continually accepting and perpetuating a culture of intolerance based on individual value systems will only continue to breed the type of hate and disregard for life that was displayed toward people at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
Guns continue to devastate lives, as does our perpetuation of intolerance and inability to value human lives no matter upbringing, sexuality, gender identity, or race.