I wish hate truly had no home here


Donna Volpe / tapinto.net

A photograph of a “Hate has no home here sign” in Clinton, New Jersey.

I see the signs that say “Hate has no home here” in the occasional yard. It’s not quite common, but having one at the entrance of my neighborhood gives me a little bit of hope for a change in our current political climate.

In that home, I am sure hate doesn’t have a bed—combatted by acceptance and love from the inhabitants instead.

Yet, I still see hatred almost every day.

It can be Donald declaring Día de Los Muertos a national day of remembrance for “Americans killed by illegal aliens” (trampling over the Mexican tradition of remembering and honoring past ancestors and using it to fuel his xenophobic, anti-immigrant narrative), or it can be a customer berating me for asking them to wear a mask to protect others in the restaurant, or it can be my fellow classmates spewing hate, calling pro-LGBTQ+ protesters “[censored] idiots” on social media.

How can we expect to be a “great” country when hatred is running rampant like this in horrifying, damaging ways? When people believe they’re allowed to act like this because they see it in some of the highest elected officials and their neighbors and their family members and their friends?

How can I feel proud of my community—safe and supported, too?

It is truly unacceptable.

Sexuality, race, citizenship status, origin, job, or religion are no golden ticket to allow you to hate someone, to discriminate against them, to deem them lower than yourself. And it is shameful to think there are people who believe they can, citing their religion, their rights, their personal beliefs as evidence and justification for forcing others to fit their lifestyle—to fit their tenets—even denying science as they do so.

So, I ask again, how can I feel proud when justice is never served when people are blinded by their hate? ”

What others decide to do with their bodies and lives is not for anyone else to judge and critique as long as it is not harming sentient others (in the case of public health, your choices affect others—even threatening susceptible lives). Love is love, and no one should fear for their lives because they love who they want to; no one should fear that they will be attacked for holding hands with their significant other like in the case of Tristan Perry and Spencer Deehring or judged as peers deem their sexuality “idiotic” and “a choice.” Religion should not be a reason for discrimination or death threats as it was when a man in New York sent anti-semitic death threats to his Jewish victim on the first day of Hannukah, particularly in a secular country where no religion is in power due to the “separation of church and state.” And race should never be a death sentence like it was for Tamir Rice playing with a fake toy gun in a park—a 12-year-old taken too soon at the hands of law enforcement and even caught on video.

Hatred is everywhere: in the news, in our country, in our city, in our community, in these examples. So, I ask again, how can I feel proud when justice is never served when people are blinded by their hate? When people never listen, never learn, never care? When I can’t even be myself?

I mourn for lives taken because of hostility and ignorance and for any innocence robbed as discrimination and hatred start young, being taught within the home. Only once love, acceptance, equality, and appreciation triumph at home, in school, in our community will change come—a chance to break the cycle and show true humanity through tenderness and unity.

So hate should have no home here—not just only in the first house of my neighborhood but in my peers and family and community. And I truly wish it didn’t.