Silence Is Violence

In the United States of America everyone has equal rights regardless of race, color, creed or national origin. I am saddened by the current state of affairs that we are experiencing in contemporary society. Just last night upon seeing Donald Trump's face on the national news the person sitting next to me in the room asked me to comment on what he deemed "the problem with all these Islamists in our country." My blood began to boil, I began to find it hard to breathe, and all I could do to remain civil was to get up and walk out of the room and say "I don't like Donald Trump or anything that he stands for."

The truth is I'm no good at public debate. My hands are sweating just typing this. I'm too emotional to have a conversation in person that wouldn't end up with me screaming at the top of my lungs in frustration. But to have someone sitting right next to me try and tell me that this country has a problem because too many Muslims are in it is just so disappointing. The problem America has, and the rest of the world for that matter, is that too many humans kill other humans.

The problem that's bothering me most right now is Islamophobia. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" And lately I'm finding that my soul just can't stay quiet anymore.I have a problem with what Trump is encouraging and the behavior of his more fervent supporters. How is it any different than what was happening during the Civil Rights Movement?

When the general public start yelling out violent threats to those they disagree with saying things like "light the mother@!$%#er on fire!" and "seig hail!" and encouraging beat downs by saying they were deserved. That's a huge problem and it isn't going to just go away. As citizens of the United States of America have we already forgotten the heavy price of overcoming segregation? Have we forgotten about the churches being bombed and the innocent people being mistreated, beaten and even killed by our own countrymen?

I wasn't even alive but I haven't forgotten.In America we have already had innocent Muslims die as a direct result of irrational fear that is being perpetuated by the right leaning media. Just last year in Missouri a 15-year-old boy was killed as he exited a mosque. An SUV with the words 'Quran is a virus disease woreste than Ebola (sic)' scrawled on the rear window in white paint rammed into him severing his legs. Abdisama Sheikh-Hussein died in the hospital. This is just one glaring and tragic example of many. Let's get one thing straight right now Islamic extremists are not the only ones doing the senseless killing in America.

Innocent people die every day and that will continue. That man's ignorance goes much further than just bad spelling it resulted in him killing an innocent child and ruining not only his own life but the lives of the victim's family and friends. Hate crimes against Muslims are happening all across the nation, the children of bigots are becoming bigots themselves and there are people in power who are encouraging this behavior. When will it ever end? Why do we allow this type of behavior to go unchecked?

Free speech is being abused and used to incite hate right in our own backyard. The good people of the world can no longer stand by and silently tolerate this behavior. It is our responsibility to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr, by speaking out and standing up against injustice and encouraging others to do the same. If you are afraid of Muslims, if you are one of those people spreading the hate, if you've ever said you felt like killing a raghead or that all Muslims are terrorists or whatever other hateful sentiment you might be harboring, I beg you, please reconsider your stance.

Please try and find it in your heart to give people a chance before jumping to conclusions about anyone based on their religion or the color of their skin. You aren't protecting America by hating all Muslims. You are making it worse. My whole point of this letter was to remind my friends that racism, bigotry and sexism are still wrong and to state to all of them that I stand for and believe in equal rights for all. And when I say all, that means everyone, regardless of race, religion or color. When we let this kind of hate speech go unchecked and keep our mouths shut to avoid conflict we are contributing to the problem.