Petzold: Don’t be hateful in your beliefs


An Iowa State Police officer at a traffic stop on Union Drive. 

Megan Petzold

On Sept. 8, five Creston High School students dressed up in KKK robes, waved a Confederate flag around, burned a cross and then preceded to post a picture of it. These students weren’t charged with a crime because no one’s rights were violated. However, what pushed these boys to make such a serious statement?

Hate crimes are believed to be caused by the extreme beliefs of a person or group, then fueled by the opposite strong beliefs of another person or group.

The KKK didn’t go around killing and harassing African-Americans because they wanted to perfect their torturing skills. They felt that they had the correct belief that African-Americans didn’t have rights. African-Americans felt that they had the same rights as white people. Therefore, the moral war between African-Americans and white people began.

Modern day hate crimes aren’t typically as violent as they used to be, yet they still exist.

Freshman Dakota Hickman believes that hate crimes still exist because “human nature causes people to feel the need to mark their territory, physical and metaphorical.”

With this mentality, it is likely that hate crimes will not vanish from the world.

“Understanding is a great way to prevent hate crimes from occurring,” Hickman said. “If people were more understanding of others views, they wouldn’t feel the need to fight back with their views.”

She believes that understanding and being a good person could prevent the feeling to profess one’s beliefs in such a strong statement as hate crimes.

In the end, standing up for one’s beliefs is a noble thing to do. Yet, there is a line that need not be crossed. Yes, this is the land of the free and home of the brave, but there should be respect for people’s beliefs and thoughts. There is no need to destroy someone else’s life because you don’t have the same beliefs as they do. Respect and understanding are two very valid ways hate crimes can be prevented.