“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 PEACE.’ Well, when we believe in peace, there is simply no room for complacency. The murders of James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Jorge Steven Lopez [Mercado], 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 accept diversity.’
“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.” – Ricky Martin, denouncing hate crimes in a holiday message on his website.