Like many on 1\5\2017 I was surprised and very bothered by what I saw on mainstream media outlets like CNN. A hate crime targeting a developmental disabled youth. As an autism self-advocate much of what I have learned about social advocacy was seeded in the influences of Martin Luther King Jr and more. This hate crime case and these times combined make for both a fascinating a disturbing incident that can be very difficult to make sense of and then comment about.
I will begin with what first came to my mind. Darkness (hate, anger, violence and negativity) cannot drive out darkness (similar). Which reminds me of these times which have tested human compassion and understanding. People of diverse character exists on all sides of the political spectrum. In the hate crime video posted on Facebook as a live video the Hate Crime perpetrators used recent politics which were highly divisive no matter side to justify their violence.
In this darkness we are able to see a light perhaps. In darkness it can be easier to see the light. Politics are matters of character. Whether violent, alienating, rude and or disrespectful character is how we ought to be judged. Without hesitation the individuals should be charged with hate crimes and found guilty. But as they appear to be guilty, should they be forgiven? Is hate, intolerance and grave abnormalities of character leading to violence forgivable? Hate is like a virus, it spreads socially and lives amongst us all in small and to some big ways. We could choose to be blind to our own human qualities but there is no such thing as a perfect person.
Hate if left unchecked leads to violence as it has in this case and the acceptance of it and hate no matter how seemingly justified can lead to societal downfall, desperate divisiveness and intended harms toward others in other ways then simple violence whether economical or emotional. Forgiveness is important as without it we have hate. Punishment though is important. Punishment that includes real treatment for the mind is I think also important to forgive a person who then becomes different in character so to be forgiven.
The acts of this hate crime to me, as a person with autism and an advocate who often must observe others to advocate is just a subtly more extreme version then day-to-day politics in the madness it has evolved to become. I don’t understand why people go on hating one another simply based upon ideas. People should teach so to influence one another to respect and dignify others.
I hope that this happens more often as I fear crimes like this will occur more often.