Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stop The Madness

Hatred Kills Again - 11 Year Old Suicide

The next time someone defends anti-gay bigotry as a religious issue, ask them if they believe in killing children. That's the sum total of what hatred can do.

In the case of Jaheem Herrera, an 11 year old from DeKalb county Georgia, the hatred he experienced in school was too much. He hanged himself rather than continue to suffer the bullying he received because students perceived him as gay.

He was discovered hanging in his room by his 10 year old sister who tried in vain to rescue him.

According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jaheem was bullied relentlessly, his family said. Keene said the family knew the boy was a target, but until his death they didn’t understand the scope.

Bullying has made the news lately from another case in Massachusetts when another 11 year old boy hanged himself after relentless bullying for his preceived sexual orientation.

What these cases point to is a need to recognize that hatred can kill. I know lots of people will say, it was the boys fault he died, after all it was suicide. To them I can only say, until you have experienced being the target of a vile hatred so strong that it makes your every waking hour a nightmare, shut your mouth!

Parents and preachers and politicians are the villans here. They are the ones who carefully teach their children to hate anyone different from themselves. They instill the prejudices well and their offhanded remarks often are taken as absolute truth by impressionable children.

There is a song in the musical South Pacific called "You've Got To Be Taught". Perhaps everyone should read them?
"You've got to be taught to hate and fear,
you've got to be taught from year to year,
it's got to be drummed in your dear little ear---
you've got to be carefully taught!

You've got to be taught to be afraid
of people whose eyes are oddly made,
and people whose skin is a different shade---
you've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
before you are six or seven or eight,
to hate all the people you relatives hate---
you've got be carefully taught!"
---You've Got to be Taught, from South Pacific