Are YOU a Terrorist?

A terrorist, with all fancy wording aside, is someone who imposes terrorism.  Once again, I'm enlisting the assistance of my friends over at Merriam-Webster's website to paint this picture.  Terrorism is defined as "the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion."  Terror, my friends, refers to a "state of intense fear." 

Photo courtesy of Britannica.com

Photo courtesy of britannica.com Have you ever been caught up in a conversation with someone, and all of a sudden they are talking about how much they hate a certain type of person, or what they would do if said type of person were to walk in front of them?  I have heard several people speak this way about the GLBT community.  I have heard people talk like that about black people, Hispanics, even non-religious people.  Or perhaps about religious people.  "I dare one of those forsaken fa***ts to walk in front of me right now!"  "In America we speak English; don't you dare talk to me in that Spanish-talk!"  "Don't even think about knocking on my door again; I don't care about your message!"  The examples are endless.  Americans, who have the luxury of shouting "U.S.A!" upon learning of the death of Osama bin Laden, are the same ones sometimes capable (and guilty) of a sort of terrorism on their own soil.

What happens is that the people attacked by these such statements are terrorized; coerced to live in "intense fear," denying who they are, afraid to speak out or reveal their "true selves."  Closeted gays are afraid to come out of the closet; they may be teased, ridiculed, beaten, or even killed.  Spanish-speakers are afraid to have an accent because they may be denied a job or other opportunity.  These people are living with theterror used by societal terrorists to force them to live in silence.  To live a lie.

This type of judgement is injust.  It's not fair to either party.  To close your mind to not allow diversity in your social or professional circles.  To live in intense fear of being yourself.  Once again, I seek an end to hatred.  Educate yourselves.  Ask questions.  Be tolerant and accepting.  Above all, do not be a terrorist.

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