I recently read an article from a local Oregon newspaper about a racially motivated group at a high school in Oregon.

It’s disturbing but somehow not all that surprising to me.

When I moved to the state of Oregon in 2001, to say I was a fish out of water was an understatement. On campus in Corvallis, the student body population was about 1 percent minority. I learned to adjust and find commonalities with the people I befriended and associated with, based on our character, dreams, and aspirations. But it’s not always that easy.

We as a people are emotional at times. The passion we possess is one of the root causes of what makes our culture contagious. But if we are not careful, some may try to bait us and use our passion against us. However, the opinions of others are their problem, not yours. Sharpen your mind. Learn to protect and provide. Come together and watch how they run from your power. Slavery and taking advantage of others is nothing new to this world.

But a lack of knowledge is what keeps others behind. We’re not that far removed from thinking like this.

To my young people: there is no set value on your life, especially when the currency we use is based on a fiat scale. I challenge you to learn your history so it’s not repeated. I also encourage you to get involved in your community’s doings. Life is a participation sport, and if you don’t engage with others their wishes just might become your reality.