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Teach your children well: Instilling acceptance and love, not hate, at an early age

In its actions and its words, hate is a destroyer. But none of us are born with a hateful heart. Leon Bibb reports.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on June 5, 2021. 

Look no further than images broadcast into our lives to see a troubling side of life. Too often, we see images fueled by hate.    

Hate has increasingly shown its face over the last several decades. 

Sometimes it slips undercover, but it is always there, never really fully going away.  Hate can hide, only to resurface when an event or a voice unmasks it from its covered place. Still, we must stop hate and exchange it for fairness.    

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During the previous presidential administration, we saw pockets of hate growing at lightning speed. With the internet and social media, hate has learned how to cross continents and oceans with a finger stroke on a computer keyboard.     

We have seen hate heavy-footing it in anti-LGBTQ+ groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate in the U.S., has seen a significant rise of hate groups that are so often fueled by harsh policies and strident voices.  

At the LGBTQ Center in Cleveland, a goal is to support victims who are on the receiving end of illegal actions of even words.  

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In the Broadway musical “South Pacific,” there is a song that confronts hate, with lyrics stating, “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate and fear.” 

The writer says that none of us are born with a hateful heart, and that any such attitude is learned behavior. The song concludes, to hate, “you’ve got to be carefully taught.”

This raises two important questions... what are we teaching children; what are we saying of ourselves? During Pride Month, and really every day, all this is something to think about. Many people suffer from violence and inequalities thrust on them because of who they are and who they love.

In its actions and its words, hate is a destroyer. The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  

I beg to differ. 

Some words can hurt; Hurtful words can break lives. 

Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet.”

Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on June 4, 2021. 

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