Are Racism and Hate Crimes on the Rise?by Wendy Gladney on 07/21/19
Lately I’ve been wondering if racism and hate crimes, or speech, are increasing or if they have always been there, just lying dormant. We know there’s always been hate, racism and acts of ugliness; however, I feel it has gotten worse. I thought there was a time when race relations had improved, but some people have justified in their own minds that they can say whatever they want, do whatever they want and act whatever way they want without any thought to the consequences.
Over the years many have sacrificed (on all sides) to make America a better place to live for all its citizens. We were even known as a nation that cared about its people. Now a man feels like he has the right to walk up to someone sitting in their car and slit their throat and murder them just because they don’t like the music they are playing and because he says the music makes him feel threatened. #JusticeforElijah. We also live in a time when the person who holds the seat of the highest office in this country feels comfortable demeaning women of color that are elected officials and citizens of the United States (and three of them were actually born in the U.S.) by making racist attacks and comments towards them.
What I find amazing is the resilience of people and how when people want to make a difference and stand for what is just and for what is right, they know exactly what to say and what to do at the right time to extinguish hate. Recently when Trump supporters chanted hateful remarks towards Representative Omar (due to the statements made by Trump) she responded back by reciting Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise.” This reminds me of the 1960’s when the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) taught the students who participated in the Sit-in Movement to show strength by practicing self-control when they were being spit on, beat and degraded. Being the bigger person is not for the faint of heart.
A hate crime is referred to as a bias-motivated crime that is usually rooted in some sort of prejudice towards a person or group of people. These crimes and bias transcend across color lines, sex, ethnicity, nationality, gender and religion. These actions are carried out in both violent and non-violent ways. Why are these actions and crimes increasing? Why do they oftentimes fall under the radar or experience very little consequences? Racism and hate crimes are being carried out at every level - federal, state and local. Although we think big we must act small. Start wherever we are planted in our own backyards to try and make a difference on how we view people that are not like us.
Because of the mantra I live by every day, I believe healing without hate is a choice and a lifestyle that we choose on purpose every day. I have to believe that no matter how much hate may be in the atmosphere love trumps hate every day. Yes, people will have biases and some will choose to express themselves through matters of hatred through their speech and actions, but those of us that care about mankind and the uplifting of all mankind can’t give up on this journey for justice. #Sisepuede
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!