I've blogged about hate before, but recent incidents move me to return to this issue. It continually astounds me that hate is so prevalent in our country...our world. Again, it's the hatred that lies "dormant" that seems to surprise people most. We've grown accustomed to wars raging around us, bombings taking the lives of hundreds of civilians, villagers being cut down by machetes, women being raped....We say we're horrified by these types of actions and some of us protest them...even become activitists....as we need to.
But more attention needs to be given to the everyday hate that lives and grows among us...prejudice, discrimination, bullying, teasing...
Because of the recent murder of Dr. George Tiller along with the murder of Stephen Tyrone Johns, security guard at the USHMM, hate has stepped to the forefront of commentary by the media and journalists. I want to share a few pieces that have especially attracted my attention in the past few weeks:
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/opinion/13herbert.html?emc=eta1 "The Way We Are" - Bob Herbert (June 12, 2009)
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/opinion/13blow.html?emc=eta1 "Hate in a Cocoon of Silence" - Charles M. Blow (June 12, 2009)
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/opinion/12krugman.html?emc=eta1 "The Big Hate" - Paul Krugman (June 12, 2009)
- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/health/09klas.html?adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1245092421-LsOH8wxyeBVnXIfEBAa5SQ "At Last, Facing Down Bullies (and Their Enablers)" - Perri Klass, MD (June 8, 2009)
- http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/05/26/o.truth.about.bullying/index.html "When Sexual Bullying Turns Deadly" - oprah.com (May 26, 2009)
- http://www.wmur.com/education/19750185/detail.html?taf=man "Seacoast Schools Work to Stop Bullying" - wmur.com (June 14, 2009)
Let's not forget as time passes and these horrific incidents fade from memory that we must be constantly vigilant and pro-active in this challenge to address the hate which is the underlying cause of so much intolerance...and to address the fear which is the underlying cause of so much hate.
Let me also share an excerpt from a letter written by Sarah J. Bloomfield, Director, US Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 11, 2009:
"This incident underscores why the Museum is so important. The Holocaust did not begin with mass murder. It began with hate. The Holocaust reminds us of the dangers of indifference and unchecked hate--and that each of us has a responsibility to stand up to it. Nothing teaches that lesson more powerfully than the Museum.
It is unconscionable that such an act of violence, fueled by hatred, would occur at our Museum, a sacred place of memory. Yet, despite our grief and outrage, we will reopen on Friday with a renewed commitment to the urgency of our mission."
Let us not allow terrorists of any kind determine how we live our lives. And let Anne Frank remind us:
peace to you all, Deb