On May 29, the Dutch translation of The Hate U Give written by the afro-American author Angie Thomas will be released. In the US, this book has been released in February 2017. I haven’t read this book yet, but I pre-ordered it. Together with the Dutch release, the book will be released in twenty other countries as well. Normally I only write Dutch blogs, but for this book I am making an exception. The subject of the book is too important and unfortunately so relevant in this time. I would like to apologize for any mistakes as my English is absolutely not perfect. English is not my first language, Dutch is.
The Hate U Give deals with a current topic, racism. Several incidents took place in the past few years in the USA in which violence by police officers played a major role. Because of the anger and protest occurring worldwide, the Black Lives Matter movement has been founded. This movement was the source of inspiration for The Hate U Give as the story deals with these kind of incidents mentioned above. If you want more information about the book and/or order the book, click here. In this blogpost, I do not talk about the afro-American community, like the book does. First, I don’t know enough about this community. Second, other communities are judged often as well, too often if you ask me.
I have known people who are “different” my entire life. Different related to sexuality and religion. I put different between brackets, because I don’t think these people are different at all. When I was a child, I got notion about homosexuality and different religious backgrounds. I have been raised in a multicultural environment. I went to a catholic primary school, but at the time I finished year 6, the majority of the children were from foreign origin. Most of them were Muslim, but there were also people from Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles attending my school and were classmates. One of my classmates even wore a hiyab. So, for me at that time it was already common that people were wearing one.
This multicultural environment was there at high school as well. Again, I was attending a Christian school, although I’m not a Christian myself. At this school, different religions came together and again, there was no problem. During the “religion” course, we learnt a lot about all these different religions. During my time at university, nothing has changed. In fact, my bachelors studies have an international focus. Many people in my studies came from another country to get their bachelor degree here. Additionally, we got exchange students every semester. So, I got to work with people from different cultures here as well.
Unfortunately, there has been a trend of judging visible in the last few years. People are judged on their sexuality, skin colour or religion. These judgments are often very rude and are expressed in a rude way in both real life and on social media. These judgments are often based on prejudices or stereotypes. Of course there are people within a group who make things more difficult for others in the same group who don’t have bad intentions at all. This doesn’t mean that the entire group, culture or religion is bad. The radical people do not represent the entire (religious) group. This is called ethnical profiling, judging an entire group while someone from this group doesn’t what to make trouble at all. Unfortunately, this “trend” becomes more visible these days. I don’t like this trend at all. Unfortunately, I see it myself, in my own social media feeds, through jokes about other religions. This mainly occurs on Facebook. These jokes are meant to be rude and therefore are no jokes. This is an example of judging other people. Using the word “gay” as an insult actually is the same. You don’t choose to be gay, lesbian or transgender, it’s who you are, it’s within you since you were born. Being insulted and judged for that hurts more than you could ever imagine.
Are you different when you are a Muslim, Hindu or part of the LGBT community? No, of course not. OK, you are maybe a little “different” because your culture is different, but your sexuality, skin colour or religion do not make you different from all the others. It does not define and affect your character, intellect and personality. Somebody who has a white skin, is straight and has blue eyes, could also be an unfriendly person. Do you also judge that person that hard? Probably not. I try not to express myself in a generalizing way, but unfortunately, it happens this way. Judging is something human, I have to admit I’m guilty of it too. But I never judge someone based on their sexuality, skin colour or religion, it’s really unnecessary. Personality is more important. Some of my friends are gay, some of them are Muslim. That doesn’t even matter at all, these people are just like you and me.
Why The Hate U Give is so important
As mentioned above, I haven’t read the book yet, but its pre-ordered. This book will belong to one of the books with a high impact. The story tells exactly what happened in the past few years and what is really unecessary. This book shows that you don’t need to judge and that people who are “different” have the same feelings as you and me. Racism is absolutely useless, because you can learn a lot from different cultures. Racism ruins society, because people with different backgrounds need to be able to live together, without being violated in any way. The main character in The Hate U Give lives in two worlds, which often leads to conflicts. She really struggles and actually this shouldn’t be even possible. That’s why I think this book is so important. I think it’s important that as many people as possible read this book and not just young adults. This is the reason I wrote this blog in both Dutch and English. Of course you are able to find my review of the book here as well once I read it. This review will be published in both Dutch and English too.
So dear readers, let’s all stop judging people based on their sexuality, skin colour and religion. This makes the world a little more peaceful and the time you use to judge others, can be well spend on different things. Such as in reading books or learning more about other cultures. Or, on ordering the Hate U Give. Look at the first paragraph for the link to the book on Amazon.