Livewire - September 19, 2012

Claire Miller of Kirkham
Claire Miller of Kirkham
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Hate crime - by Claire Miller of Kirkham

IT has become apparent to me that some are still filled with hate and discrimination towards people of different race, gender and sexuality.

It’s become a personal issue for me since a friend was attacked in public for being gay.

There is so much prejudice and discrimination for being different.

Be the only Goth at your school and you’re a potential target for bullies. Be the only female, or male, at work and you could be the butt of every joke. If you are different in any way you risk falling victim to other people’s prejudices, leaving you fearful. It’s not fair.

According to Home Office 
Statistics, a total of 48,127 hate crimes were recorded from 
January 1 to the December 31, 2010, by all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some 39,311 of these attacks were racist, 4,883 were homophobic, and 1,569 were on people because of their disabilities.

What troubles me the most is not the numbers, but lack of a rational answer to the simple question of why. Why would someone want to hurt another person because they’re not like them? I’m sorry, scratch that. Why would someone want to harm, maybe even kill, another person just for being themselves? What are they trying to do? Beat the ‘wrongness’ out of them? Beat the black out of a black person; the white out of a white person; the gay out of a gay person?

It’s hardly possible to remove all the ‘different’ people from the world. Homophobes, racists, sexists and other bigots seem to think everyone in the world should be exactly the same.

If a company was given a project to complete, would it be accomplished to the high standards if all the staff had the same qualification and abilities? They need the people who specialise in design. They need the people who specialise in finance. They need individuals.

Being different is what makes you – you. The human race would be a boring species if not for the variety and unorthodoxy of individuals. I’m not saying people should be direct and in-yer-face about their differences. I’m merely saying they should be free to embrace their originality, place in the world, who they truly are. To be unique is good.

So if you are thinking, ‘what is wrong with me?’ the answer is simple: nothing. There is nothing wrong with you. Be your own person. Just allow others to be so, too.

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