Drop the hate

Ron Soltys

John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” The title of this editorial – whether it reminds you of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Fatboy Slim – attempts to fuel thought about our society.

I must admit, when I first arrived at Kent State a while ago, I felt a little on edge when people brought up the subject of racism. There were many students who were under the impression that because I was a white, male student from a dinky little town between Cleveland and Akron, I would somehow be naturally embedded with a racist attitude from my environment, my parents and my lack of personal experience in dealing with the issues firsthand. At first, I wanted to get angry, but I took it all tongue-in-cheek and sought instead to see where it all was leading.

Incidentally, I was supposed to go into a College Writing I course with all sorts of pre-journalism and mass communication students so that we could focus heavily on grammar and commit other satanic rituals that all of us pseudo-writers are notorious for doing. However, I went to the wrong class for the first two weeks, one in Oscar Ritchie Hall, and decided to switch into it so that my work there could count for something. The class had a theme that taught me a lot about American history.

It was kind of half writing, half history as far as class material went, but it was the first class to really focus and bring negative attention to the things that happened in post-slavery America. It dawned on me that the struggle for black equality was always taught to me as history; it was always implied that the struggle was somehow done. I was disconnected from these events. I more or less viewed them as being somewhat resolved. I’ve done a lot of thinking since then, and I think a lot of growing up, too.

The dilemma of an upcoming political election brings not only my own beliefs into question, but also the beliefs of the communities around me. I have to admit, people tell me a lot of things I disagree with, but I am not really looking to spark a debate about this or that. What troubles me more than anything is the people who firmly state that they are somehow offended or object to Clinton or Obama running for president on the grounds of their gender or race. Aren’t we supposed to be living in a free country in the 21st century?

People are angry all the time, drawing distinctions and pointing fingers. How is this helping anyone? You can disagree with Clinton for a myriad of other reasons (she looks like she wants to bite your head off). You don’t need to ride the “iron my shirt” train, whether you mean it or not.

We don’t need to make any more victims – we need to embrace hope and progress. Forgive each other and help integrate any and all into a working society so that all of us enjoy the full flavor of freedom.

Ron Soltys pretends he has the vision to change someone’s opinion. Tell him how wrong he is at [email protected].