Perspective: To end gun violence, direct action must take place

In Opinion, Politics
A crowd of people are depicted protesting. They are holding signs saying "F Trump!", "Stop Hate", "Impeach Now". In the middle are three signs that says "How do we stop hate?", "Direct Action", "Civil Disobedience". There are bushes, buildings, and a blue sky in the background.

The deadliest shooting in New Zealand’s modern history occurred on March 15, as an extremist attacked two mosques in Christchurch and killed 50 people. Across every nation, hate lurks in the darkest parts of humanity, and these terrible tragedies truly test how well people can unite to address these circumstances.

People must take on the role of an activist to dispel hate crimes by raising concerns and pressuring political leaders to take a more aggressive stance on these issues.

White hate crimes have long-existed, but animosity and hateful rhetoric has only increased during the Trump Era, creating a chaotic storm of anger that has only continued to grow and wreak havoc across the United States.

In response to the New Zealand shooting, President Donald Trump dismissed the severity of these hate crimes by equating it to a small number of people.

Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke about the New Zealand shooting on CNN’s “State of the Union,” and also addressed how Trump’s rhetoric does not help weaken the animosity that extremist groups use to target others.

“His rhetoric doesn’t help. And many of these people, whether it was the person who tried to bomb Barack Obama, or this murderer in New Zealand, have cited Donald Trump along the way,” Klobuchar said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

It isn’t surprising that President Trump behaves irresponsibly, but his rhetoric impacts the way that the rest of the nation thinks. Though he may be dismissive of these actions by shrugging away the blatant rise of extremist groups, the rest of society needs to do better.

Some people choose to neglect or ignore hate crimes, but this isn’t the right solution.

Dismissiveness breeds ignorance because it makes it seem like hate crimes do not impact people. Being mild-mannered or unassertive simply isn’t enough because that only dismisses hate crimes or minimizes the severity of hateful words, which is incredibly irresponsible.

Hateful sentiments can become overwhelming, eventually escalating into something that is uncontrollable. Politicians need to know that being dismissive isn’t acceptable behavior, and that following the president’s actions that he took with New Zealand isn’t appropriate. Perhaps, an active role needs to be considered at a local level.

At times, it’s hard to equate hate crimes as local issues, but when it’s happening on our very campus, no one should be desensitized enough to these crimes to neglect the situation.

In an all-too-recent memory, one of Cal State Fullerton’s electrical box that was vandalized with anti-Semitic rhetoric. University Police said it was not considered to be a hate crime, but the abhorrent writing serves as a reminder that this hate is closer than one would like to admit.

While in California hate crime laws are extended to a variety of motivations, such as race, religion or gender, other states are not as specific.

Many states do not have local hate crime laws, which makes it challenging to hold perpetrators accountable. Activism can make sure that this dilemma is addressed locally and statewide, while also showing that negative views are not shared or accepted, according to the NAACP.

Rather being an angry and untamed roar, hate crimes need to be addressed through every avenue possible, especially within activism. While extremist groups may try to divide their countries with offensive rhetoric, activists can combat this. If everyone contributed their voices and stood united instead of choosing to hide, then the necessary changes needed in politics can be made and put an end to the tolerance of hate crimes in both law and society.


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