Dear South Carolina, it's been six years since I left, and I still miss you dearly. But I don't miss everything. There was a time, growing up, when I thought I understood the scope of racism in the South. I did not. Your culture is not sporadically punctuated with racism. The two are intricately intertwined.
If say you are religious, spiritual, Christian or any other religion and you find yourself quoting scripture to demonstrate your faith, please take a closer look at the passages about poverty and justice. It is impossible to walk in the footsteps and grace of any God and not care about the injustices against African Americans in our nation.
In making others feel like they should look or act differently, we rob humanity of its very core -- that of individuality. So let's aim to be more mindful about our words and actions, so we can help rid our communities from the shackles of the 'isms' -- sexism, ageism, racism -- and simply allow ourselves to be more...human.
There are many of us in the LGBT community who want allies, but do we extend ourselves to help the "other others," those people who are seemingly most unlike ourselves? Now that we as a community are gaining strength and more equality, it is time for us to become vocal and visible allies to other communities.
We are responsible for the sins of the present, both the individual sin of prejudice and the social sin of racism. When I saw racism on my campus as a college student, I looked away and stopped attending those parties. This sort of passive resistance is not enough. White people must speak out against these behaviors.