There is a four-letter word that is so bad that it can start war. It is the driving force behind car bombings, plane hijackings and assassinations.
It manifested itself in Fort Collins when a man allegedly punched two CSU students because they were gay.
This incident, however, is just a symptom of a bigger problem.
Hate is a global disease.
All of the conflicts around the world blossomed from a seed of hate – hate for another race, religion, political ideology, ethnicity, etc.
The list is endless and it begs the question, why can’t we just live and let live?
It’s easy to talk about tolerance and diversity. It’s much more difficult to put those ideals into practice. As humans, we need to look deep inside ourselves to discover where these fears are coming from.
Why are we so scared of people who are different from ourselves? And why do some people act on those fears in such a violent manner?
Whether or not you think hate crimes should have harsher penalties than other crimes, chances are you don’t favor hate crimes.
As a society we need to attach a negative social stigma to those who commit crimes out of hate regardless of the written law. Hurting someone for any reason is not acceptable, but when the reason is because of some broad generalization about a group to which they belong, it somehow is a little bit worse.
Informal expectations in society often have more power than the law. The most important thing for us to do is to reject intolerance and embrace education about groups of people different from us.
We hope that one day we can rid our vocabularies of the vulgar four-letter words of hate and fear and instead live with tolerance and peace.