I am often driven to wonder what motivates us, as a collective people, to be so completely cruel to each other. Varying news media outlets have managed to cast an ever-brilliant beam upon a truth many of us wish was not so evident; indifference, in all its many manifestations, has not diminished. It is still very much alive and kicking.
My first and most obvious question is, why? Why does a total stranger's skin color or sexual orientation still push people to maim and murder? More to the point, why do those committing these heinous crimes dare to presume they are enacting God's will?
We all conceal our own theories regarding bigotry and where it may stem. But, make no mistake. Hatred, contrary to what some might contend, is not something any child is simply born with. The vile prejudice that fueled the dragging death of James Byrd, a black man living in Jasper, Texas, and the vicious beating of gay college student, Matthew Shepherd represents a detestable mindset that has been deliberately passed down from generation to generation, year upon endless year. A greater portion of our society preaches hate and encourages division, while at the same time condemning me and the man I love for "corrupting" its children.
Does that not reek of the utmost hypocrisy?
This sad reflection obviously doesn't speak for every child. If it did, I think we'd all be in serious trouble! But, the fact we still have folks like Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, and "Ex-Gay" conversion groups telling our youth that homosexuality is a curable disease speaks for itself. No single individual can ever convince me that I, a gay man in a loving relationship, represent all that is negative when my accusers are exposing their own kids to so much narrow hate and petty bias. There are enough rational free thinkers out there to counter this brand of ignorance. But, until we can actively educate more people and open their eyes to the absurd level of social injustice they so blindly tolerate, true equality will never be attainable.