Hate Stops With You

February 10, 2011
Everybody in their lifetime hates, whether it be someone or something. But do you really hate, do you know what the word really means? Many people don’t, but they know what it feels like, or at least what they think it feels like.

There are many ways people show hate, but the most common are hate crimes.
“ The Criminal Code of Canada says a hate crime is committed to intimidate, harm or terrify not only a person, but an entire group of people to which the victim belongs. The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done. “
That being said, these crimes are motivated by bias, prejudice, the actual or presumed race, color, religion, nationality or gender of the victim or victims. Which can be really serious because even if a perpetrator mistakenly assumes you belong to a group to which you actually do not they will attack anyways. The range of violence of these crimes is from something as small as vandalism to something as serious as death.

Many who commit hate crimes have been raised or influenced by people who have very strong judgments towards others for, most of the time, no apparent reason. These people have lived that way for their entire lives so it seems natural to them and they don’t realize the gravity of what they are doing. But there are many recruitment tactics as well, such as recruiting hate in prison. Gangs who operate in prisons are always on the lookout for new members. When they approach you, you basically have no choice because in prison if your not part of a gang, lets just say your days are numbered. Most prison gangs follow the policy of “blood in- blood out,” meaning to get into the gang one often has to spill another’s blood, which most of the time results in murder. Even if you don’t agree with or believe in what they do, you must do what they say or basically your dead.

Many people create anti-violence foundations. Their missions are to stop the growing amount of hate and violence against youth. By providing opportunities that build character, broaden perspective, promote diversity and bring together various ethnicities and form relationships. Their biggest focus is to recognize and eliminate prejudice, by acknowledging and accepting diversity. The creators of these organizations believe that by influencing future generations, it will diminish the hate crime rate tremendously.

Everyday around the world people are hurt for who they are and what they believe in, and that is not okay. We should be able to show who we are with pride, not hide it away because we’re scared of what people will think or do. In the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr. "We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Meaning, if we don’t stick up for our friends and what we believe in, and call people out for what they have done wrong, hate crimes will keep happening. In other words hate stops with you.

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