Death to discrimination

Two-hundred and thirty-nine years have passed. In that time we’ve brought electricity to the home in light bulbs, taken to the road in cars, survived two world wars and witnessed the rise of the internet. However, we have yet to accept the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in which he wrote, “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The outcome of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, the continuing debate over the validity of same-sex marriage and the constant bickering over feminism are just a few of a countless number of cases illustrating that in 2015 we lack a true understanding of the concept of equality.

It is time to develop a socially conscious society that embraces equality for all.
Ask anyone, even a first grader, what they define as respect and they will say, “respect is the golden rule, it means treating others the way you want to be treated.”

However, I don’t want to be strategically persecuted for the color of my skin. I don’t want to be denied rights simply because of who I love. I also don’t want to make less than a person of a different gender for the same work.
No one wants to be treated this way.

Writing about equality is difficult because assessing the problem is easy, but finding a true solution is difficult. Also, as a suburban white female in high school, very few people will ever view my idea as something more than a utopia generated by an overly-idealistic girl who doesn’t understand the real world. Nevertheless, I found a solution on the most generation-dividing site ever — Facebook.
I was scrolling through my news feed and there was a story by Humans of New York about a preschool teacher who attempted to develop a socially conscious class. She wanted her class to be more informed of the world around them and taught them about things like apartheid in South Africa, homelessness and they even made cards for Trayvon Martin’s mother on Mother’s Day.

The teacher was fired for this. However, she found the solution to the age-old problem of mending the gaps between people.

I will never experience discrimination to the extent that some people face on a daily basis. However, surely I can understand the plight of a student choosing to be home schooled due to constant tormenting for embracing who they are. Surely I can understand the anger of mothers who fear airports because their children wear a hijab. Surely I can understand wives staying up and fearing the police officers they married won’t return home after their shift.

Surely I can understand — and so can everyone.

We cannot change our DNA. From birth we may grow, but who we are at a basic level does not. So it is time to stop tormenting and oppressing others for what they cannot change.

Simple chromosomes have become powerful enough to dissolve respect and equality, and that is why we need to push to develop a more socially conscious society.

Walk in someone’s shoes, understand the problems they face on a daily basis and then fight to make sure no one else has to face that tomorrow.

We are better and more progressive thinking than 1776, but it takes a society of dedicated individuals to prove it.