In the name of hatred

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

America, a beacon of hope to the world, appears to be under attack by an enemy that resides within our borders. That enemy is hatred.

A 2017 study by the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino looked at police data for the first half of 2017 for 12 cities across the country and found a 20 percent increase of reported hate crimes in those cities as compared to the first half of 2016.

During the past few weeks, the actions of two criminals have given credence to some that hatred, typically characterized by individuals with anti-Semitic and racialist beliefs is on the rise in America.

In one case, Cesar Sayoc, a crazed individual with a lengthy criminal background which included convictions for theft, stolen property and numerous other crimes created hysteria in our country when he mailed more than 12 bombs to prominent Democrats. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says federal authorities are charging a 56-year-old Florida man with five federal crimes.

In another case, a gunman, Robert Bowers, perpetrated the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history, and a massacre that highlights the rise of hate crimes across the country. Bowers, who frequently posted anti-Semitic threats online burst into a busy Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday and opened fire, killing 11 people and injuring six others.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said federal prosecutors are seeking approval to pursue the death penalty against Bowers, who was injured during the shootout with police. He made a brief court appearance in a wheelchair Monday and is being held without bail for a Thursday court appearance.

Armed with an AR-15 and three handguns, Bowers entered the Tree of Life Congregation and fired inside while expressing his hatred toward Jewish people, according to a charging document made public Sunday.

To research the matter, the nationally renowned PEW Foundation interviewed 3,769 adults. The research discovered blacks and whites in America are worlds apart when it comes to racial matters. Some findings from the research may be shocking but not surprising. The research discovered that tensions are in fact, at a boiling point in need of an immediate intervention.

No one truly knows what is driving this hatred in our country. There is consensus, however, that without abridging free speech, we must temper or desist from using language that inflames racial passions which can give rise to potential violence against others.