Diversity remains the one thing we cannot escape. Every riot, protest, tweet or social media post holds some stance on the issue. All minorities crave to exist differently and for others to promote their differences, but what about those who still hold traditional values?
The diversity driven aspect of our great country elevates the LGBTQ community, the black community, the feminist community and every other person that does not identify as Caucasian, Christian or Republican. Our society has become so set on staying different that conventional ideals have become oppressed. Traditionalists are run over as the need for acceptance begins flooding in.
For example, if I do not agree with the lifestyle of someone in the LGBTQ community because of my religion, people may deem me a horrible person or homophobic. If I believe women should dress modestly or that they should not live promiscuously, suddenly accusatory comments of opposing the empowerment of women beyond slaving over a stove and pleasing their husband unfold. This labeling logic does not promote diversity.
By forcing everyone to accept or believe a specific version of right and wrong, diversity dies. If the American society truly wants diversity, we must begin to respect each other where we remain different. Someone cannot force me to agree with their lifestyle, I only have to respect it. Likewise, you do not have to agree with anyone’s religion, you only have to respect it.
Everything falls into line under that one ideal: respect. The focal point lies not in acceptance or belief but rather, tolerance exhibiting more importance. If our society runs on statements such as “I hate her because she thinks God does not exist,” or “I hate him because of his liberal view point,” then eventually society will shut out diversity. When that day comes, we may all look different, but we will act the same and hate anyone who disagrees with us.
If your thought of diversity directly correlates with disagreement, then you run on the right track. But for many of us, especially my fellow millennials, we do not enjoy disagreement and we definitely do not appreciate those who dislike and discourage our choices. That being said, if we want a strong and truly diverse society we need to stand up, stop whining about who does not approve of what we do and move on. At the end of the day, who needs acceptance from others? I do not need you to believe in my God and you do not need me to accept your lifestyle, we only need to respect the choices each of us has made. If the divided sides of America can come together and respect each other, we could unite as a stronghold again. By continuing to allow one person to bash and trash what the other does, we only further destroy our communities.
– Kaitlin Evans is a journalism sophomore