By Bianca Carter
IT IS amazing that we live in a world that seems to be so much more tolerant of differences than before. We support causes, lend our time, and sometimes money to bring awareness to a whole slew of causes and coloured flags. We’ve become seemingly accepting of religious and sexual orientation differences for the most part. But have we really?
Over the last few months, there have been numerous, heartbreaking, horrific and senseless events that have been spilled-out through the international media of events that have taken place in the United States.
I can’t tell you how disturbed, terrified and truly heartbroken I am when I think of those heartless acts. Although, there have been many cases of these heinous and unjustified acts, the one that hit me in the pit of my stomach and shook me to my core, was the shooting of innocent people in Charleston, South Carolina this past week.
I went to University in Columbia, South Carolina and spent many weekends in Charleston. The drive to Charleston from Columbia is under two hours and I often visited with friends because it reminded me a lot of Nassau. I suppose it was the horse and carriages, the market and the colonial style architecture that made it familiar to me. Charleston is a very beautiful and historic place; it’s hard to imagine why someone would target it to commit a hate crime.
The big question is, how do you hate someone you don’t even know? People make judgments all the time by the way people look. It’s unfortunate, but stereotypes are very alive and well in the world.
People are not born to hate, they are born to love. A child does not come into this world being fearful of a person because of the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs. Hate, fear and intolerance are learned and developed over time. I suppose one could make the argument that if it is learned, it can be unlearned.
I prefer to think of it another way. There is a silver lining in every bad situation. No, you can’t go and change the past to bring back any of the innocent victims that were killed senselessly, but you can change the future.
It’s the future that we need to have hope for and work on improving. It’s teaching your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews that a person’s worth is not defined by the colour of their skin, who they choose to be with or what they choose to believe. It’s teaching them not to fear but rather to love, to have compassion and empathy for others.
Love and hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor (CLC), founder of Bun in the Oven, and weekend radio personality on Y98 radio. For more information, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
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