There have been many reports throughout 2016 of horrible crimes against humanity: unnecessary deaths, racial targeting and profiling, and targeting others for their religion. This is an oversimplification of the tragedies and injustice you see in your newsfeed daily.
I will be including several videos and articles from possibly triggering tragedies and I urge you to please read with caution from here.What originally grabbed my attention was the death of Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist working with a man with autism after he left the group home to play in the street with a toy truck. When the police arrived on the scene, Kinsey is seen to try to alleviate unnecessary stress by getting into a clearly submissive position and attempting to inform the officers of the situation. Based on witness reports, the police fired and struck Kinsey. Witnesses also stated he was then placed face down and handcuffed. The police in Miami later released a statement thinking Kinsey was in danger and were aiming at the man with autism. Click here for video.
As a professional, I am appalled at this situation. No matter which way you spin it, shooting anyone in this matter was unnecessary and unjust. Shooting anyone with no imminent risk of harm to self or others is not the answer. Violence is not the answer.
In June, Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others when he opened fire in the Pulse nightclub. This is an example of a violent protest in which Mateen says his reasoning behind the shooting was due to the US’s involvement in Iraq & Syria.
I have seen countless stories come across my Facebook newsfeed like these throughout this year. I see a new tragedy almost daily. I see hate daily.
Even worse, I continue to see hate spread by political candidates, vying to become our next leaders.
As a citizen of the country and of the world, I cannot sit idly by and not address what I am seeing. I can no longer remain silent.
I was raised in a Christian church though I do not identify myself as Christian. I studied a wide variety of religions and have found value in every religion I have studied. Most all religions I have studied show primary teachings of love, understanding, and peace. I wish to remind you of those teachings now in the wake of these tragedies.
I hold strong beliefs about equality for all, religious freedom, and peace. Hate speech is rampant in our time and creating stronger divides daily between neighbors and communities. It is important to be knowledgeable of other cultures and religions to become better citizens, friends, and neighbors.
Some leaders stand out to me at this time, such as the deceased Martin Luther King, Jr., who taught peaceful protests to make your point. I see many of this teachings in the following video of Ken with Free Hug Project at the Charlotte protests:
Ken spreads the word of peace, understanding, and humanizing both sides. I have to constantly remind myself that there is good in the world. I find myself searching for the Dalai Lama’s quotes to center me again.
Also see the Dalai Lama’s response to the Pulse shooting.
I encourage you to be open to becoming knowledgeable, to speak up about injustices, and to spread the message of love and equality. We are all in this together.