Guest Contribution: ‘One Word: Peace’


So… InterstateQ.com has its first Guest Contribution. Thanks to Micah Beasley, UNCG student for submitting to us his guest column he submitted to The Carolinian (UNCG). Micah’s guest column is in response to the guest column by Jason Crawford, entitled “The Matt Hill Comer problem,” published a couple weeks ago (see more about the aftermath here). Unfortunately, The Carolinian website has not yet been updated, so I can’t provide you the link to the online publication of Micah’s guest column, but he has sent me the full text for posting here.

One Word: Peace
by Micah Beasley

Submitted as a guest column to The Carolinian (UNCG), Issue 2/6/07

In light of Mr. Crawford’s thoughts on homosexuality that warranted two responses in the editorial section, I feel the need to offer my opinions on our society as a whole and how it affects those of us with so-called “alternate” lifestyles. I will not take the route of picking apart Bible verses; I believe that they change nothing. In my opinion, what these misplaced scriptural references do accomplish is to further discrimination and hate against homosexuals, a hate that leads to sign yielding radicals proclaiming, “AIDS cures fags.” I do not know when this started, but in this society the basic human right of respect has perished. When did America, the supposed land of freedom, prosperity, and acceptance become a society where you can be met with cruelty and harm because of your personal lifestyle?

I am not unpatriotic, but I am not proud of the society we live in today. Rather, I am disgusted by this society. Disgusted, because our country is running rampant with intolerance. Disgusted, because there are people out there in personal turmoil who are afraid to love because they fear they will be victimized.

I am in constant disbelief that there are those who have socialized younger generations into believing that we are not all created equal and that certain individuals should be ostracized for any reason, let alone their sexual orientation. Fortunately, though, there is hope. It lies within one simple word, peace. The ultimate gift that one human can offer to another. However this word and the ideas behind it have been left trampled upon and forgotten. It is no longer a mainstream thought for Americans. I no longer witness it in our relations with foreign nations and especially with the disregard for nations that really need our help, such as Darfur. We spread democracy, but not peace. I also certainly do not see it amongst my fellow Americans.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Mrs. Judy Shepard at UNC-Chapel Hill. Mrs. Shepard is the mother of Matthew Shepard, who was heinously beaten to death simply because he was a homosexual. It was a shock to our nation, yet nothing was done to prevent it from happening again. Everyone turned their heads. What followed were similar crimes that received less media attention and affected less Americans. Mrs. Shepard urged homosexuals to tell their stories in attempts to further the acceptance of diversity and addressed how imperative it is that heterosexuals fight for gay rights. She commended those who have already done so, but blamed the society that meets diversity with hate—this same society that raised these two men to think it was perfectly acceptable to take a young man’s life.

I stand behind her thoughts whole-heartedly. Intolerance is at our doorsteps America. Will we continue to turn our head the other way, or will we finally face this problem, head on, and fight against oppression? In the words of Mrs. Shepard, “our voices are beautiful,” and they will be heard. I would like to encourage everyone to visit the Matthew Shepard Foundation at http://www.matthewshepard.org to learn how you can “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.”

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