The Dangers of Stereotypes and the Tragedy in Boston

The first thing I thought about yesterday when they released the photos of the Boston bombing suspects was, sadly, “Oh thank God, they’re white.” So when it was discovered today that they were actually Chechnyan¬†Muslims¬†my heart sank.

It didn’t take long to start seeing the posts on Facebook (from extremely nice and intelligent people) along the lines of, “…you can’t tell me Muslims are peaceful people…” Which is exactly what I was hoping wouldn’t happen.

Since 9/11, an entire community of people has been unjustly scrutinized, attacked and labeled by understandably scared people. But fear doesn’t give us permission to be hateful.

Every single one of us is a member of some sort of stereotype. No matter who or what you are, there is a negative connotation attached to it. As a Hispanic Christian, I would hate to be labeled as an illegal who torches abortion clinics. Just as every Catholic priest is not a pedophile and every Muslim is not a terrorist.

Be mindful of your words today, especially around your children. Hate is not born into our kids, it is grown and learned. Just as we teach our children to be careful when crossing the street and to say thank you, we are also teaching them to judge and hate.

I tend to stay away from politics because it’s such a polarizing topic ,but this isn’t about politics or religion – or even America. It’s about being compassionate and intelligent and better than what I’m sure will pollute the internet in the days and weeks to come.

I pray for the people and the families of those hurt and scared in Boston. I pray for wisdom and conviction on the part of this suspect who is still at large.

And I pray for you and your family, that hate and judgement will not take over your lives and cloud your vision of the beauty that everyone in this world has to offer.