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Hate is Destroying our Humanity

There are critical times in our lives when we are forced to decide what kind of a person we want to be. Whether we will be a person who values personal interests above others or whether we prioritize the humanity that we share with one another. Whether we will choose compassion and love or rage and hate. This is such a moment in our lives when we must choose. Like many generations before us, our humanity is tested as we approach the 2024 presidential election. Before we reach emotionally to what we hear or see, everyone must know that there are those among us who are fueling hate against historically marginalized and oppressed groups, many of them our neighbors and coworkers, to gain and/or maintain power. Therefore, we must protect our humanity, our very souls, from falling prey to such disgusting and evil tactics. We must be clear: we lose our humanity when we begin devaluing one human being over another because humanity cherishes all human life equally. It is able to distinguish between groups or governments who commit evil acts from the vast number of innocent people all over the world who are only guilty of trying to survive and take care of their families.

Humanity demands more of us. It demands restraint. It demands thoughtfulness. It demands patience. It demands empathy through active listening. It demands unconditional love. When we lose our humanity, our worst impulses take over, and many of us will never be the same again. Taking many shapes and forms - whether it’s racism, anti-blackness, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia or anti-Asian, hate incites the flames of fear, ignorance, and division while threatening the very fabric of our society. Hate destroys bonds, dismantles relationships, fractures families and communities, and causes wars. This cancer eliminates our collective progress toward global peace and security, pitting neighbors against neighbors, governments against governments, and promoting violence and conflict as means of resolution. Hate undermines the foundation of democracy, creating an atmosphere where individuals are systematically marginalized and oppressed. No one is safe until the roots of hatred are eradicated across the globe and in our own homes. The terrorist attack carried out by Hamas on October 7th escalated hate crimes and acts of violence based on race and religion in the United States (U.S.) and across California, but it is not the sole reason why this issue exists; Hate is. A week after this same terrorist attack in Israel, 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume was stabbed 26 times and murdered by his family's landlord in Plainfield, Illinois. According to authorities from the Will County Sheriff's Office, the reason behind this incident was due to the family being Muslim. The child’s mother was also stabbed but remained alive, but unfortunately, was too injured to attend her son’s funeral. Recently, an elderly Jewish man in Southern California died from an altercation at an Israeli-Palestinian protest, which authorities have not ruled out as a hate crime. Advocacy against hate is a means to prevent such violence and acts of terrorism. Promoting the active denunciation of hate is crucial for building inclusive societies where every individual, regardless of their background, race, religion or identity, is valued and respected. A society marked by unity and respect is more resilient and capable of overcoming tension caused by disagreements and divisive issues. 

Hate fuels political and personal gain, leading to hate-driven movements. In the face of this challenge, we are responsible for educating, raising awareness, and standing up against hate wherever we encounter it. We must be allies to those who are targeted, and we must commit to fostering understanding, dialogue, and empathy. I urge us all to join this movement, to become agents of change, and to work tirelessly to create a world where respect, love, and acceptance triumph over fear and bigotry. Together, we can build a future where our children and grandchildren can grow up in a world free from the burdens of hatred and prejudice. Our Humanity is at stake.