By: Dani Langevin – Valley Patriot Lesbian Columnist March 2013
I was angered the other morning, while eating my breakfast and watching the early morning news, to hear about the hate crimes that had been committed last month at Oberlin College in Ohio. According to the New York Times, “The incidents included slurs written on Black History Month posters, drawings of swastikas and the message ‘whites only’ scrawled above a water tank. After midnight on Sunday morning, someone reported seeing a person dressed in a white robe and hood near the Afrikan Heritage House.” Oberlin is touted as one of the most accepting, progressive and all inclusive institutions of higher education in the United States. It was the first college to accept black students back in the late 1800’s. The campus, to say the least, was angered, shocked and threatened by these incidents.
I do not understand hate, its origin or its motivation. It clearly comes from and is fueled by fear, but fear of what? It turns perfectly rational, intelligent people into irrational, ignorant, reactionary animals. Hate is what puts nasty, hurtful words into people’s mouths and causes them to fly out with a fiery vengeance. It’s what makes girls become catty and shallow bullies, excluding old friends from social venues lowering self-esteem and confidence, some times to the point of suicide. Hate is what makes boys beat up a peer whom they see as less masculine. Some of those boys they target have been beaten to death.
Hate puts guns into people’s hands and makes them point and shoot at something or someone they see as a threat whether it is real or perceived. It shoots up shopping malls, school campuses, churches and parking lots. Hate blows up buildings, neighborhoods and flies planes into sky scrapers. It fuels wars, drops bombs on innocent people, sends suicide bombers into market places, calls for ethnic cleansing and makes it all seem all right if it’s draped in the flag of your country or pulled out of some isolated line from your religious text. Hate swallows people whole and passes out something covered in so much of its own excrement that no amount of good deeds will ever wash the stink off of the crimes they’ve committed when fueled by that awful four letter word.