Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Bigotry; it's all around us

big·ot (b g t). n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself. 

First of all, I'm not writing up this post just because of the Wisconsin shooting incident that happened yesterday. This post has been stirring up in my mind for the past couple of days after hearing about the Chick-Fil-A protests... and the shooting yesterday just made things worse.

Now, these two incidents are different; one is based on sexuality, and the other based on race. However, they are both fueled by the same thought. A thought of a bigot.

First of all, think of this:
I am with the love of my life, we are absolutely perfect for each other and we are really in love. But this is considered wrong by many people... in fact, fuck 'wrong', it's an abomination. It's an abomination that I am with someone I truly love and want to be with.

Now think of this:
Tomorrow, I'm going to wake up early so I can head over to (insert place of worship here) and pray to God and thank him for giving me strength, hope, love, and to look over those close to me that I love. (And whatever else you would pray). But, there are other people who say my religion is wrong. They say that everyone in my religion is completely the same, and that we are all bad people who deserve to die.
But why, why are they saying these things when they do not even know me?

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are two incidents that have happened recently


So this photo may provoke different feelings; whether it is anger, disgust, happiness, proud... (or even arousal.. maybe?)

It was taken last week on the "Same-Sex-Kiss-In Day" which was a protest against the CEO of Chick-Fil-A who stated that he was a very religious guy and didn't support same-sex marriages.

Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion in a way, as long as they don't discriminate against those that don't hold the same opinion. Nor should you only think of your point of view as the 'correct' one, and everyone else's opinion is 'wrong' and irrelevant.
After all, there are 7 billion people on this planet, and that means 7 billion different opinions, so what makes yours so special?
We should just listen to one another and do the obvious thing of accepting what others think, or just get on with our own lives and not be so concerned about other people.

Yet this incident became more cruel, as it was found out that a lot of the money that came in from Chick-Fil-A went to organisations that were against same-sex couples, and some even went further to harm same sex couples.

Is this really right?

Is it right for others to say who you can and cannot be with? Especially if the person you want to be with, is genuinely a great person.

Now, I know religious views do play a part in this, as some religions do consider homosexuality as a bad thing; but is it really something which we must discriminate against?
Sure, it's different thinking in your own head "Oh, I don't like the idea of those two guys being together", but it's not okay to act upon it and cause emotional trauma for other people.

And this isn't even the case only for same-sex relationships; it's the same for inter-racial relationships too.
Because despite the fact that you're with someone you really want to be with, and you're both happy together; there will be someone out there who will say, "no, that is all wrong. You guys can't be together because it's against this...". Yeah, you could easily ignore it, but it's just the fact that some people are too focused on their own views that they can't seem to see past it. They can't seem to understand that the person is in fact, happy.

In case you don't know what this feels like, picture this:
You are with the person of your dreams, and you get along really well, they are like your best friend, and you really feel like you know that person for who they are (rather than their label or exterior). And obviously, you end up liking that person, even loving them. And everything is perfect between you both, like definitely a match made in heaven.
Then, you go outside and there are people looking at you both in disgust as you hold hands walking, or whilst you're having lunch together. Well what's the problem? Neither of you guys have done anything wrong to anyone, why do you guys get treated that way?
And then suddenly, you find out that you guys can't be together. Why? It's not like you guys are constantly fighting, or getting into trouble. Because after all, you guys are fine and you're happy with each other.
No. You guys can't be together because someone else (who doesn't know you both) said it's not right. And that your lives are at risk because of this.

Doesn't feel so great does it?

Do you think these people who are targeted by bigots, had purposely went out to find a relationship with someone who is 'so wrong'. No.

And why do these bigots feel the way they do? Is it their religion? Or their cultural upbringing? Or is it just their narrow mind?

After all, I'm sure most religions will want you to live in happiness, and to love one another. So what gives you the right to tell someone else how they should live their life, if it means for them to live in sadness and anger?

I read this article a while ago written by a homosexual couple, and it really upset me. Read it here.
Here are some quotes I really loved:
" In 75 countries in the world, being gay is illegal. In many, the penalty is life in prison. These are countries we can’t openly visit. In 9 countries, being gay is punishable by death. In many others, violence against gays is tacitly accepted by the authorities. These are countries where we would be killed. Killed."
"When you see a bully beating up a smaller kid and you don’t take a side, then you ARE taking a side. You’re siding with the bully."
"Please think about this: How would you feel if KFC came out tomorrow and said they were spending money against equality for Asian Americans, or African Americans, or religious people? Really. Think about it. What would you do? How would you feel? How would you feel if, after their announcement, there was a big increase in KFC sales and I was all over Facebook supporting KFC."
"You mean more to me than KFC possibly could."

And PLEASE read that post, it will change your perspective immediately and will help you understand what it feels like to be in their position.

I'm not saying that we should all support these people because it's standing up for homosexuals, but we should stand up for people for having the right to have a great quality of life and to be happy... like the rest of us.

So on to the next incident:

Wisconsin Shooting at a Sikh Temple;

This was the most recent incident, and it had shocked many.

Basically, a Caucasian male of his mid-30s had went into the Sikh Temple and basically had shot 6 people and injured many.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not just writing this because I should be backing this up as it's my religion, but just the whole incident in itself.

Why did the man feel the need to go into a place of worship, and start shooting innocent people? What was the need for all of this? 
How would people react if someone of another religion went into a church and started shooting the people there. It's just wrong.

There really is no need for it.

I've always thought of the temple as a safe place, it's God's home and everyone there is sort of like family. And there will be no bad things happening there. However after hearing about this incident, it makes me wonder if the world really is a safe place?
And despite living in a multicultural society, there are still people out there who have their prejudiced opinions about those around us. 

Yet you'd think, we're living in the 21st century where people of all races are living in all the same countries, and we all share our cuisines, music, clothes, our language.
(If you didn't know, the English language has so many borrowed words from Spanish, French, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese etc.)

I did post about this incident on Facebook and I wrote:
"Thoughts go out to those that died in the shooting that took place in a Gudwara.
It's a shame this has happened, but I can't help wondering, why isn't there a law against guns? It's the same with the shootings at the Batman premiere... why hasn't anything been done about it? :S"
Yet, a number of friends had informed me that if you were to eliminate the weapon, the motive will still be there. 
And to be honest, I don't understand how someone can shoot someone else without actually knowing them but just generalising on the fact that "Oh, they're brown, that makes them a bad person or a terrorist".

Yet after all of this has happened, we shouldn't fight back, we shouldn't do anything back. Why? Because it's only stooping down to their level. It only shows that we are as bad and full of hatred as they are.
One thing I really want to stress on, is that not everyone is the same. Despite of appearances, what we believe in, what we say etc, we aren't all the same. Even if you have 6 people that follow the same religion, their point of views won't be the same, in fact, there are 6 different point of views.
And you can't judge just by looking at them. You can't just generalise by what you have seen on the news and said "oh, they're all like that", because that's just wrong and stupid.

To finish off this post, here's a comment I read on a Chick-Fil-A page that applies to all of this - and this really was my favourite comment on that page haha:
"Just because someone else's lifestyle is inconsistent with your personal religious or moral views, DOES NOT mean that it violates your religious freedom. Some things may offend you, but your simple taking of offence IS NOT lisence to discriminate against others. There are seven billion people on this planet, and seven billion different views about the world. You're only as special as the next person is. So suck it up, buttercup."

~ xoxo

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