It’s not often I watch movies [or TV in general], let alone go to a theater to watch one. My attention span is horrible. As in: it has to be incredibly captivating/interesting for me to be able to sit and watch something for more than a few minutes.
Yesterday, I ended up seeing “42” with my brothers. This two hour movie? Didn’t seem nearly as long. For those of you that are not aware: it’s about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in major league baseball… and more importantly: the racism he deals with in the process.
The movie does a great job in portraying/ emphasizing the social matters, and I wouldn’t say it’s a “baseball movie”. As I was watching the movie, I couldn’t help but think “I couldn’t imagine living in a time period where someone was treated so differently because of the color of their skin“. I think it was a scene that showed the “white only” restrooms.
I then shuddered. Because, so many years later we still live in a nation full of discrimination.
Just in the recent few weeks, three stories pop in my head right away:
Wilcox County High School in the state of Georgia held its first combined prom for whites and people of color. Really?! You are kidding, right? How is that even possible?!
Then there were the stories of someone [in NY I believe] vandalizing homes and worship places of the Jewish faith.
Lets not forget the backlash again Muslims in the aftermath of the Boston bombings when it appeared that the two suspects associated themselves with Islam. I hate to say this, but I use the term Muslims very loosely when talking about the suspects. I am not one to judge anyone (only He can do that). But to use religion [whichever one it may be] to defend your cowardly and hideous actions… that’s no man of faith right there.
And who were the immediate “suspects” that the media and the general public pounced over in the aftermath wrongly? Without any proof whatsoever. Just because of who they were. Not what they did. Or didn’t do.
I’ll be the first to admit that in the immediate aftermath, one of the first things I said to my family is “this better not be the act of a Muslim”. It’s like a gift for the media to grab a hold of extremism and use that against Islam and Muslims as a whole. From Fox News? I expect nothing less. From actual “news source”: the naive in me hopes for a little more educated response.
When news broke that their background is actually classified as “white”, someone on Twitter made a joke: “What every Caucasian male has been dreading has come true: it was one of us“. But it hits a much broader note, doesn’t it? How many white people face the reprise in the aftermath? Do we discriminate again all Germans because Hitler was a German?
I don’t remember religion being a factor in the Oklahoma City bombing, the Tuscan shooting, the Aurora shooting, the Newtown massacre. See a pattern? The suspects were all white.
What creates so much internal hatred towards another? And if that must be the natural response, why isn’t it the response no matter who commits the atrocity? Not just when someone of a certain faith does it.
You want to voice your opinion? Voice your opinion for the poor across the world who suffer daily. Voice your opinion against violence. Voice your opinion for equal pay for equal work [for women]. Voice your opinion against discrimination. Voice your opinion for stricter gun control laws.
Voice your opinion, when in your heart, you know you are doing right. Not because it’s what everyone else is doing. Stand up for one another, not against each other. Voice your opinion against hideous and atrocious acts by mankind. Not against what makes up that man. We should all be judged for the things we do, not for who we are.
Have we made great strides? I’m not denying that. But we have a LONG way to go. When will we come to accept each other, learn to judge every individual on their actions and not a group they identify with? Whether it be a group they associate themselves with [religion, beliefs], or it’s something innate [sex, race, etc.]… that doesn’t matter.