How one appears in public seems to be a trend these days. Some of us just can’t help basing our opinions of others by the way someone looks. If they saw me, a white woman in a hoodie, they’d never give me a second glance. But make it a young black man and automatically he’s a criminal in some people’s eyes.

I can’t even begin to express how enraged I am about that murder. It’s the 21st century, a time when people claim to be enlightened and above prejudice, and some of us can’t get our mindsets out of the segregationist 1950s. Some of us in this country just cannot alter their thinking, that they still believe discrimination based on ignorant prejudice is acceptable. The face of this world we live in is in constant flux, we are changing, evolving into something else. Change scares some people, scares them so badly that the only way they feel they can combat it is to try and obliterate it from society. They like their little world where everyone is categorized into neat little boxes, so that they can identify who is right and wrong, who is acceptable and who is not.

There’s a flaw to that line of thinking, in my opinion. True, there will always be the exceptions to the rule, but for the rest, it’s all grayscale. Life is no longer black and white, right and wrong, good or bad. It’s complicated and difficult. We can’t always depend on outside appearances as a guide to decide who is a good, moral person and who isn’t. We can’t decide what is a good or bad person based solely on looks, or what one wears, or what faith we hold. It’s short-sighted and ignorant. We can’t say that someone with lots of piercings and tattoos is a dangerous, evil person. That’s a very narrow-minded perspective and not very helpful. Appearances are deceptive. Someone can be the most prim and proper, stuffed shirt and also be a raging maniac.

I suppose I have this great desire for everyone to be colorblind, that we could see the quality of a person not based on looks, but who they are inside. I recall years ago, when I found out a guy I liked in high school was gay, it didn’t turn me against him. I’m surprised it took me such a long time to figure it out. I still considered him a great guy to hang out with. We still have these bonehead mentalities that just because we learn something so surprising about another person, it means we have to hate them now. When I told people I was no longer a practicing Catholic and followed pagan beliefs, some people thought I was mentally disturbed and wanted me committed. Other people didn’t care and still saw me as their friend. If you knew me as a good, kind thoughtful person before this, why would anything I say now change your persepctive of me? Or anybody else? How many more people have to be hurt before we realize that judging one another based on what someone looks like is wrong? It’s using common sense, which seems to be severely lacking in a lot of people these days. Nature is a million, billion different colors and varieties. We humans, as a part of nature, are also varied. We need to accept that FACT now, not sweep it under the rug. I won’t live the rest of my life in the Dark Ages, in a world ruled by fear and prejudice.

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