I think there is something instilled in us from birth that makes us uncomfortable with the unknown.

Whether we learn it from our parents, media or society, its there. For some, it never goes away, and the idea of tolerance and acceptance remains a ridiculous notion.

I pride myself on being not only tolerant, but celebratory of those who are different than me. I respect other cultures, religions, philosophies and sexualities, just as I would like mine to be respected.

It's unfortunate how some feel the need to hide their cultures — who they are — to protect themselves.

Some Muslims are scared to continue to wear their religious clothing, such as hijabs, burqas and niqabs, in public because of the prejudices against them.

People who don’t understand the Muslim religion automatically associate Islamic clothing with terrorism, simply because they are ignorant to the difference between terrorism and Islam. They hear “radical Islam” on TV and that association is engraved in their brain with no outside knowledge to combat it.

Muslim women wear head, body and face coverings for modesty and other religious purposes that, let’s face it, the common American doesn’t understand.

How many white Christians who shun Muslims and call them “terrorists” do you know who have actually read the Quran? How many people really take the time to understand the things they have prejudices against?

Members of the LGBTQA community have feared expressing themselves as well because of the prejudices against them. Homophobia is still rampant in the U.S., despite same-sex marriage being legalized in 2015.

When the shooting in Orlando at Pulse occurred, it reminded the LGBTQA community just how real the threat against them is.

I don’t understand why people think they can hurt others because their sexual orientation is different. Someone else’s love shouldn’t — doesn’t — affect your life.

African-Americans now have a fear of being feared.

I was in the grocery store the other day, and as I was walking I heard a noise behind me so I turned around. I saw a black male who worked at the grocery store, and turned back around and continued shopping. I wasn’t scared, and I didn’t think anything of it. Then I heard him say, “I’m sorry, ma’am, did I scare you?” I told him no, ‘You’re fine,’ and laughed to myself.

I then realized that African-Americans, especially young males, are all too aware of the prejudices against them and how their lives can so easily be lost because of them.

It breaks my heart that these people, human beings, have to watch their every move to make sure they appear as non-threatening as possible. Their right to security has been taken away.

The prejudices against these communities plague our society, and they often lead to senseless hate crimes. What gives people the idea that because someone is different from them in terms of religion, race or sexuality, they have the right to act rudely or even violently toward them?

We are all human, we are all from different backgrounds, and we are all on the pursuit of happiness.

Someone else’s way of life should have no effect on your own.

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