Friday, August 3, 2012

Why We Stand Up Against Intolerance

Over the course of American history, a group of Americans has always stood up to intolerance.  Whether it was against African Americans, women, immigrants, homosexuals, or others, we have stood up and made our voices heard against the seemingly unbreakable wall of intolerance.


Consider these famous words from Robert Kennedy.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

We stand up against intolerance because we hold true the values of equality, fairness, opportunity, and freedom.  We stand up against intolerance because it has no place in a democracy; no place in this great American experiment.  We stand up against intolerance because we value treating others as we wish to see ourselves treated.

But mostly we stand up against intolerance because we know that, historically, it is a juggernaut of a force.  It takes tiny acts of courage and belief to collectively break away and erode the juggernaut.
Because with each action we take, we give somebody else that hope that they can share in the same values that our country and so many other democracies around the world are founded upon.  Going back to our birth:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.