Ricky Martin Denounces Homophobia and Hate Crimes: "
Earlier this month, Ricky Martin released a statement about acceptance and
peace that made note of some of the heinous anti-gay hate crimes that have
As a human rights activist for many years, I've been able to witness
countless miracles. I've seen the amazing capacity that human beings have to
heal; I've seen governments and private citizens try to change public policies
and fight battles of love that have resulted in a positive impact on our
society. I've seen boys and girls from different parts of the world free
themselves from the bondage of human trafficking (the slavery of the new era)
and amazing people renounce their "lives of luxury" to help those who need it
most. Witnessing miracles of all kinds has strengthened the faith in humanity
that my parents instilled in me, which is the same faith that I try to pass on
to my children every day. When I watch them discovering the world, I think
kindness is one of the greatest virtues that I can teach them.
On the other hand, I've also seen insufferable things that have made
it impossible for me to hold on to the naiveté that I had as a child and have
always tried to maintain it. Traveling the world from an early age and
witnessing unimaginable crimes against humanity has stolen part of the innocence
that I had as a young boy. There were many moments when I forgot about the child
that lives inside of me. You know, that child that we all have within and who
constantly reminds us to focus on the beauty of "simplicity". But that moment of
disconnection was many years ago, and thanks to the work that I do with my
foundation as a part of my daily life, I'm fortunate enough to say that I have
reconnected with that inner child and continue to learn from him. One of the
most important things I have learned is to SHOUT to the world when I encounter
injustice, and that is why I am writing today.
I try to walk through life with a positive outlook. I do all I can to
keep a grateful and optimistic attitude. Call me a romantic, an idealist, or
maybe someone who's just not realistic. Maybe it's a defense mechanism or maybe
it's just that I'm someone who wants to change the chain of negative thoughts
that have been fed to us in many ways and which can easily poison the soul. We
are all human and sometimes it's easier to ignore the pain and go on with our
day. "That has nothing to do with us," we may say; "Why should we care?" But
today, I feel that's impossible. It does have to do with us. I do care.
In the past few weeks, I've read many articles that have made me
shudder and unfortunately the articles relate to things that are happening every
day around the world. I find it almost impossible to believe that in the year
2009, we're struggling with such hateful situations.
As a defender of human rights, my goal is to find solutions for the
injustices that exist in the world today. I am speaking about discrimination of
any kind, whether it is because of race, gender, nationality, religion,
ethnicity, handicap, sexual orientation or political affiliation.
SO I SHOUT: WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE WORLD TODAY?
I'm sure you all have different answers. But at the end of the day,
it seems that the collective response usually comes back to one thing: "WE WANT
Well, when we believe in peace, there is simply no room for
complacency. The murders of James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Jorge Steven Lopez,
Marcelo Lucero, Luis Ramirez and countless others who were victims of violent
"hate crimes" should be completely unacceptable to every human being; because
we're all human beings. It's up to us to change the paradigm. I hear the world
"tolerance" thrown around in the media when it comes to cases like the ones I
mentioned above. One of the meanings of tolerance is "the capacity to endure
pain or hardship." Another is "the act of allowing something." To me, those
don't seem to encompass acceptance, by any definition. So how about this?
Instead of saying "we need to tolerate diversity" why not say, "we need to
Accepting diversity is the first and most important step we can take
towards eliminating hate crimes and uniting humanity.
If we ACCEPT, humanity unites. If humanity unites, equal human rights
will become a reality. And if equal human rights become a reality, peace will be
within our reach."