One and the same
By Chad Ingram
Published Aug. 17, 2017
It can sometimes feel like the world is a pressure cooker of hate, racism and bigotry, about to boil over.
Mass shootings in places of worship. Massacres at gay nightclubs. Threats of nuclear war from the President of the United States of America, delivered, of course, via Twitter.
Apparently threatening another country with mass murder courtesy of nuclear bombs is not enough to violate Twitter’s terms of service.
This is the world we inhabit.
Ignorant prejudices, flames fanned by reinforcement, grow into all-out hated, which manifests itself in horrific violence.
One of the latest such atrocities was a march by “white nationalists” – read “hateful racists” – in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, which resulted in the death of a young protester and two police officers trying to do their jobs.
Examples of such atrocities seem to come in prolific proportion from the country to our immediate south, where the floodgates seemed to have opened for those with seething hatred just below their skin. It is a good time to be a bigot in the U.S.A. That such individuals feel so free to let their inner hate shine, as if it’s something to be proud of, certainly seems linked to having a president who seems to welcome, or at least is reluctant to condemn, white supremacists.
And while such events may occur in the United States more frequently than they do in this country, it’s foolhardy to believe that Canada is impervious to the same kind of hatred.
Look at the shooting in a Quebec mosque that took place in early days of this year. Look at the rash of racially and religiously motivated vandalism and physical attacks that took place in this country following Trump’s election. Look at the rise of the so-called “alt right” – read “hateful racists” – on university campuses across Canada.
We are by no means immune to such hatred, which always boils down to fear of the other – to a belief that any group of people can be so fundamentally different from ourselves.
Next week is Minden Pride, a week-long celebration of diversity that will be marked with a series of events throughout the community.
As the event’s founder told the paper last week, “It’s not really all that much about being gay, it’s about being inclusive to everyone. We don’t expect for the world to turn gay. We just want everybody to be accepted.”
Sitting watching a social media feed full of division, tension and violence, that sounds pretty good; for everybody to be accepted.
That’s all any human being wants; to be loved and accepted.
Beyond the trivialities of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion and any other meaningless categorization you want to throw out there, we are all one and the same.