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Prejudice and Discrimination: Ingrained within Society

When switching on the television and seeing the events unfolding in Charlottesville on Saturday, I was absolutely stunned and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The unbelievable level of violence, discrimination, and the depiction of pure hatred were pouring through the television screen. Perhaps this was down to my naivety; after all, racism and discrimination do exist in every society, not simply within American society.

Having said this, America has been battling the prejudice and discrimination fight in every aspect of her history. Why does racism exist? How can someone have that much anger? How can someone judge and choose to hate someone else based on his or her race? A Nazi sympathiser literally drove his car into a crowd, attempting to kill anyone in his path. On Friday, a huge crowd of white supremacists were holding tiki torches, an image that was far too similar to that of the Ku Klux Klan. So, what do we do now? How can we teach people to love and not hate? Below, let us look at a few teachings from religious texts and people that certainly promote unity amongst all, irrespective of one’s gender, race, etc.

“In the joy of others, lies our own. In the progress of others, rests our own. In the good of others, abides our own.”

----- Pramukh Swami Maharaj

“The one who loves all intensely begins perceiving in all living beings a part of himself. He becomes a lover of all, a part and parcel of the Universal Joy. He flows with the stream of happiness, and is enriched by each soul.”

----- Yajur Veda

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

----- Genesis 1.27

Finally, as Barack Obama quoted Nelson Mandela on Twitter, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”

We are exposed to hate, and thus learn to hate. Hate is not something that is naturally instilled within us from birth. Therefore, reject it. Think before speaking. Think before acting. Place yourself in the other person’s shoes. After all, in the eyes of God, we are all the same and we are one. Love all and hate none!

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