Your hijab makes you a terrorist.
As does the god you pray to.
You call yourself a feminist? We call you a man-hating ****.
Your blackness makes you a criminal. A gangster. Up to no good despite your goodness.
Your badge makes you a racist, a murderer, an enemy, a pig.
Your vagina ensures that nothing you do or say will ever be more important than your beauty.
If you’ve got balls you had better act like it! Don’t cry. Don’t be a pussy! Just grab a woman by hers!
You have depression? But why? You’re so pretty.
Bipolar is synonymous with insanity and instability. Steer clear.
You’re Latino, lazy, unreliable, a little unhinged.
You’re Chinese. Oh, Korean? Eh, what’s the difference. None of you can drive.
And if you’re white you’re an uneducated redneck or a self-serving rich kid who will never understand.
You’re a man who loves another man so you are less of a man.
Your love makes you deserving of our hate (unless, of course, you will allow us to heal you)
And a woman who loves another woman? God, you must be too ugly to get a man.
Speaking of God, if you believe in THAT one, you are the face of intolerance.
And if you don’t believe in one at all, you are immoral.
Your sexuality makes you a wretched slut.
And your virginity has earned you our ridicule.
You’ve been raped, you say? Well…how short was your skirt?
Your fat makes you less human.
You’re skinny from what must be an eating disorder.
(That’s crazy. Remember, we don’t like crazy.)
The homeless are addicts.
And damn those addicts, irredeemable scum.
You’re young and dumb and uninformed
And you are too old, incompetent, you’ve lost your marbles.
A fat, ignorant American.
Not American at all? Unwelcome.
A bleeding heart hippie.
A conservative prick.
A greedy Jew.
A thug with tattoos.
Our social narrative is dominated by hateful, divisive speech and stigmas. We’ve been trained to dehumanize and devalue in an attempt to seize the upper hand, intentionally throwing off the balance so as to put some at a disadvantage.
And it’s working. We’re perpetuating the Us vs. Them rhetoric. Ensuring that we don’t come together as a human race, but remain still, as separate, unequal entities.
Because so many insist on preserving stigmas like these, we continue to wage wars, at home and abroad, in our neighborhoods and our schools and in our own minds. We’re not free because we are imprisoned by hate and fear that was bred by ideas that were never our own. Ideas that were fed to us by a long-broken society that calls for a pecking order. One that will be in place as long as we label and divide.
But here’s the secret…
We don’t need to push someone else’s head under water in order to stay afloat. In fact, we’d do better to tread together.
We’ve got a man who wants to run the free world. A hateful man. A sexist and racist man. A proponent for our division. His success in this election shows just how broken we really are.
We need to do better. We need to vote for a world that says fuck the stigmas, for they can make victims of any of us. Out with the hate and down with the division.
You are human. I am human. And that is enough to make us family.