I never knew how much being a pet Dad would change me. It’s amazing how one amazing dog and the love I have for him has brought new meaning to every moment. What once seemed so important, now feels insignificant. It’s like I get to see the world for the first time again, but through someone else’s eyes. It’s a beautiful thing to feel and experience so much more, but with that beauty comes a flip side. In American we have freedom beyond what most people in the world will never experience. Even with this freedom there remains a life that isn’t always so pretty.
To be honest, before I had Nash, I never really gave racism, discrimination or privacy a lot of thought. I guess it was easier for me to believe that it was someone else’s battle. But recently, I’ve personally experienced some incidents that have sickened me and made me take notice. I realize that racism, discrimination and disregard of ones privacy are still alive, and just as hateful and deadly as they ever have been. Yes, even here in the U.S.A.
I feel a responsibility as a father, a human being, to do what I can to make sure that not only my dog, but all other dogs and people, don’t have to grow up in a world where they are judged by the color of their skin, or their gender, their sexual orientation or to have someone invade the privacy of another. I want my boy, you and everyone else growing up in a world where love for one another is the most important thing.
So the first step I’m taking is to stop pretending like this isn’t my issue or my problem, because it is, it’s everyone’s… because the California teenager who was harassed and killed by his classmates for being gay, the teenage blogger in Pakistan who was shot on her school bus for speaking out in favor of women’s rights, and even my own biological family member in California who chose to invade my privacy, create lies and wrongfully accuse me of truly hateful things. It is our responsibility to give everyone a voice and speak out for those who can’t and hopefully in the process, ensure that hate is something anyone will have to never have to see.
Today, July 4, 2014 and forward, please take a stand and speak out against those who are racist, discriminate and invade the privacy of another. Without a voice you allow these people to continue, be alive, and just as hateful and deadly as they ever have been. Speak up and speak out.