Letter to the Editor

By Mark Hacking, , Senior, Psychology

Editor:

?Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning

to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your

teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless,

tempest-tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden

door.?

America is the greatest nation on the earth. Our founding fathers realized the need for a land of freedom, acceptance and sanctuary. We have fought, bled and died for this need, and the idealism that once was dreamed of is now a glorious reality that we call the United States of America.

We are an eclectic nation born of brave refugees, who thrived from their ancestors.We are also a nation born of new immigrants that arrive daily seeking the rights and freedoms we hold close to our hearts.

The symbols of these rights and freedoms are emulated in The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, the Statue of Liberty and the invitation inscribed in its base and in the lives of every American who lives, breathes and dies on our soil.

Recent events have catalyzed and intensified feelings of hate in the hearts of many and have led to various hate crimes across our great nation.

Individuals of Persian descent have been treated with hate, discrimination, violence and death. Have we become so short-sighted that we cannot remember the scars that mar the history of humanity?

Why is it that each violation of rights that we have fought for and resolved to expunge is so quickly forgotten when a similar scenario is placed before us?

I speak of the horrors of the Nazis, the exploitation of slaves, the violations of Japanese Americans during WWII and every other unjust, discriminatory act?big or small.

These are the skeletons in the closet of America.

We are a nation founded on acceptance, on the right to believe what we wish and the freedom to practice these beliefs within the limits of our laws.

Hate crimes weaken our nation. They lessen the boldness of our Constitution and diminish the flame of Lady Liberty?s torch. Every act of discrimination is an attack on America and its foundation. The attacker is akin to the terrorists of Sept. 11. Rights of Americans are violated by undeserved violence.

Granted, hate crimes do not kill as many people as the Sept. 11 attacks (at least not on American soil), but the acts of hate are against our fellow Americans. This, to me, connotes that the perpetrators of hate crimes are traitors.

We are America. United we stand. If you are not ready to be American and ensure the rights of other Americans, get over yourself or find another country.

Mark Hacking, Senior, Psychology