Reflections on “Repugnant” UCLA Student Video – Developing an Inclusive Society

It has happened again.  A college student has made insensitive and racist statements.  Not surprising.  Too often, people seem not to think of the consequences of their actions. Yet, college students are supposed to be “educated.”  One might assume that such education would involve cultural understanding and sensitivity.  Too often, that is not the case.  On Friday, a UCLA student posted a video rant against Asian students.  I cannot find the original video, but one of many copies is viewable below:

Today, UCLA’s newspaper posted an article about the video in which a university administrator calls the video “repugnant.”  That’s a good thing.  Yet, more needs to be done.  This is an issue that is larger than UCLA (although I certainly hope that UCLA addresses this appropriately).  There is a general lack of acceptance and inclusion by too many people in our society.  Even those (yes, including myself) who claim to be “pro-diversity” or who say they are not racist do, in fact, discriminate and say or do hurtful things.

We need to educate our young people about acceptance and inclusion, beginning in pre-school and elementary school before learned notions of hate and racism and discrimination are developed.  Yes, we learn to hate and we learn what is “right” or “wrong” about the ways in which we interact with others.  A cultural change is needed beginning with young children and continuing through colleges and universities and into the workplace.

This change will likely need political support and is surely going to take longer than necessary.  Let us all commit ourselves to doing our part to make sure that our future is educated on how we should interact with others.  Treating people “the way we’ve always done it” is not okay anymore.

Ironically, UCLA’s The Civil Rights Project put out a policy paper supporting some of what I am proposing in this post.  Perhaps the university needs to start with it’s students…


Religion Cannot Be Used to Spew Hate

The Westboro Baptist Church is coming to Denver for three days.

These people spew hate and use religion to justify their utter contempt, non-understanding, and violent decrees for other people.  With a website called “God Hates Fags“, it is clear that they focus on propaganda and not religion or religious principles.

I support freedom of religion but not the freedom to call hatred religion, especially not any derivative of a major world religion, as the Westboro Baptist Church claims.  They say they are “old school Baptists”.  The Bible has always said to love your neighbor as yourself.  That has not changed.

The Westboro Baptists Church has published a picket schedule that includes where they will be on their visit to Denver and their reasoning.  It is full of hate and lies and is difficult to read at times.

Many Denver groups are planning counter-protest.  The Anti-Defamation League has published a guide for dealing with the Westboro Baptist Church and recommends not directly engaging them.  This hate group is looking for attention.

I do not know if I will counter-protest.  They may not be worth my time.