The United States is the most diverse country on the face of the earth, and the vast majority of Americans embrace and benefit from a society made up of different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and political opinions.
However, there are some who do not embrace the diversity that has long symbolized the United States as the “great melting pot”, and this fact was further evidenced this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
At an event which was billed as “the largest assembly of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members in more than 50 years,” a thirty-two-year-old woman was killed, and 19 others injured, when a car – driven by a self-identified white nationalist – plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
It has become increasingly evident that the United States is a politically divided country. Regardless, we need to make sure that whatever we think politically, we clearly and loudly condemn any ideology that espouses bigotry, hatred, discrimination, and violence.
As an education company, we have an even more significant role to play in combating hatred and intolerance.
Educators teach far beyond textbooks and lesson plans. They teach by example, by the tone and words they choose, by how they treat others during moments of disagreement or tension.
From day one, and amplified by our 9 Core Values, EdisonLearning has advanced the belief that a school climate must encourage inclusion, promote tolerance, and embrace diversity. We know that a positive school climate reduces conflicts, harassment, bullying and violence -making schools safer and more inclusive. We also know that school climate fosters social and civic development while gradually bolstering student academic performance.
Bias is learned early, usually at home. When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime, and hate today wears many faces.
Through education and proper school climate, children can learn, as Dr. King said, “to judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The United States has come too far in outlawing discrimination on many fronts over the past century to allow the proponents of hate and intolerance to poison American society. Therefore, we each must remain vigilant, rise up against it – in greater numbers and with stronger voices.