‘Different’ people are still people

Zoë Donovan, Columnist

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How is that we as a society and culture have come to classify groups of people who simply want to exist and enjoy the same liberties and freedoms as everyone else, and hate groups who believe that people that they see as “other” should be seen as lesser, are ranked at the same level of “radical”?

Maybe it’s just my “liberal snowflake spaghetti brain” that makes me wonder how anyone can see any kind of equal validation in the two. Black Lives Matter groups receive unending scorn from Fox News and other news services alike, attacking the group for what? Saying that black lives matter? Attacking the group because “no, all lives matter” and entirely missing the point that black Americans face a higher possibility of police brutality because of a corrupt and unjust system that unfairly targets them. Instead of addressing America’s problem with still being racist, public officials sided with the corrupt police officers who abused their power and were then insulated from punishment for the murders they committed.

While the Charlottesville riots seem like a distant memory today, it was only three years ago. Three years ago a group of white supremacists took up arms and Neo-Nazi flags to supposedly unite the right.

We’re taught that the best way to deal with hate speech or speech that we disagree is with counter speech, and when this was done a woman was killed and 19 others were injured. “Alt-righters” do not value free speech; they make a mockery of free speech and use intimidation tactics to try to bully other groups into submission.

When marginalized groups are pushed to the sides, they try to build their own communities and offer internal support, and then are condemned by powerful groups for creating “safe spaces.” The world could use more safe spaces. I do my best to recognize my privilege, to work and vote for policies and representatives who are trying to make a difference in the world. Our current president faced impeachment, and because we are so divided by party lines, it was determined that the crimes he committed were not worthy of removing him from office. We’ve faced four years of racist, misogynistic and homophobic policies and speech from the presidential administration, and specifically the president himself.

Republicans in the Senate decided with their votes that it was not an abuse of power for the president of the U.S. to ask a foreign power to gather intelligence on a political rival. We literally had a war in the 1700s because we didn’t want foreign powers up in our business.

So what does this all mean? Nothing? Everything? I just question how someone can look at the way we handle injustices in America and not see a double standard in nearly every field and system. We treat people like crap, all because they look or act or speak differently than us.

Zoë Donovan is a junior journalism major. They can be reached at 581–2812 or at [email protected].