Everyday and all the time, people are judging, whether it has to do with race, religion, sexuality, appearance, or certain beliefs. If one judges, it means that they are not 100% tolerant. Tolerance is the ability to endure or feel sympathy for beliefs and practices differing from one’s own. Many people face discrimination, abuse, and shaming for being different and because of a lack of tolerance.
One example of intolerance from our history is the Holocaust during World War II in which six million Jews were killed by Hitler and the Nazis. Millions more were killed for being handicapped, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witness, gay, and more. Hitler’s intolerant view of the Jewish influenced a mass genocide of millions of innocents. The scary part is that the people who joined in the murdering of the Jewish people were once their neighbors, friends, coworkers, and just normal people like us.
More recently, it can be seen that intolerance leads to many horrors such as hate crimes. Hate crimes are motivated by prejudice which includes violence most of the time. According to law enforcement agencies, “hate crimes in the nation’s 10 largest cities increased by 12 percent last year.”
But, not only do hate crimes occur, but there are also people who face physical and mental abuse for being a woman. Women are abused by their brothers, husbands, and fathers in countries such as Iraq and Zambia. There are extreme cases of women being burned or even killed. Furthermore, women face domestic violence around the world today as well, just for being a woman.
Hate crimes and abuse are extreme cases of intolerance and there are less extreme cases such as discrimination or even offensive comments. Intolerance comes in any form as it ranges from comments to abuse. For example, treating someone differently because of their skin color, weight, appearance, or ethnicity is a form of intolerance.
No one is 100% tolerant and that is what makes us human. However, what also makes us human is enduring even if it conflicts or differs from our own beliefs. There is a long history of extreme intolerance which led to murders and genocide to the smaller acts of hate that are happening today. In order to prevent future horrors, tolerance should be taught and revealed at a young age and as soon as possible. Tolerance can be taught within family, schools, and the community altogether.
Susie Song, Grade 11
Academy of the Canyons