Thursday, October 14, 2010

Intolerance in the US

First let me start of by saying to those readers who are expecting more posts about art and photography that I will be getting back on that track soon, but there are a few things I really need to get off my chest.

In recent months I have seen a growing intolerance in this country about anything that people feel is different or not what they would do.

The definition of intolerance is:

lack of toleration
unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs persons of different races or backgrounds,etc.

Synonyms include prejudice and bigotry.

Our US Constitution states:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Our country was founded on our refusal to be persecuted unjustly by the British, yet now, in 2010, our country has gotten more intolerant of different cultures, sexual preferences and of anything that puts us out or is different.

The recent news is full of intolerance. The Islamic Mosque that is being ridiculed for being too close to ground zero. Or the suicide of a young college student because his roommate thought it would be funny to expose his sexuality to the world.

In fact even last weekend while I was a crew member of the 3-Day walk for a cure, a few people were verbally abusive while they had to wait for the walkers to cross a street. What they had to do was so much more important than these walkers and their conviction to finding a cure for breast cancer.

What has happened to the compassion in this country?

All Muslims are being grouped and hated becasue of a small radical faction. They should be free to worship wherever they want. Do we start protesting all the Catholic churches because of Timothy McVeigh's bombing in Oklahoma city?

An 18 year old Rutgers University student, Tyler Clement commits suicide because he was ridiculed by his roommate and secretly filmed and then that film was posted on the internet for the world to see. If he had been with another woman there would not have been an issue but becasue his roommate was intolerant to his sexual preference he thought it fun to film him, invading his privacy and causing Tyler to take his own life.

This is the United States of America, a country that says we all have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well, as long as everyone around you agrees with your pursuits.

But then again, look at who we having running for office. For example, look at the current senate race in Delaware, we have Christine O'Donnell, a evangelical activist, who has characterized homosexuality as a psychological disorder and campaigned against masturbation calling it equivalent to cheating on your spouse.

She has the right to her opinion and to run for office. This is a "free" country. Let's just hope the voters in Delaware are smart enough to NOT vote her in. But be ware Delaware, she is a witch you know.

John Lennon said it right in 1968, all we need is love.

For those who know me, you know that I can be extremely cynical and not the touchy feely type, but with the current trend of this country I think we all need a little bit of love and compassion for those around us.

So lets all try to be a bit more tolerant. To hold the door for an elderly person who happens to be moving a little slower than you are. To let that car merge in the lane in front of you. To respect the sexual and religious conviction of others even if it is contrary to our own.

In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

No comments: