Hatred in Action at the Holocaust Museum

10 06 2009

Tragic. Today an 88-year-old white supremacist walked into the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and killed a 39-year-old security guard before being fired on by other guards. The Holocaust Museumkiller was known to hate Jews, Catholics, and African-Americans and on the radar of those who study fringe extremists who devote their lives to hatred. He wrote a book denying the Holocaust and praising Hitler. He spent more than five years in prison for the 1983 conviction on charges of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board with a hunting knife, revolver, and 12-gauge shotgun. He even invoked others to kill people who threatened what he saw as the supremacy of white people.

These kind of people terrify me more than any Taliban or jihadist. These are people living on our own soil who at any moment in any location and without provocation can take someone’s life…or many lives. These people walk amongst us. They look like us. They may be our grandfather, our son, our uncle, our boss. We usually don’t have a clue as to the level of depravity and hatred they harbor. Their souls are dark places where light never enters.

And yet people like Palin, Limbaugh, Cheney, O’Reilly, Beck, and Hannity fuel the flames that burn in these in-grown terroists’ hearts. These very public people tell lies and make insinuations that inflame the ignorant, the uninformed, the uncurious, and the gun-toting racists. They speak with seemingly innocent irresponsibility and then act surprised and are in denial when their words produce predictable results.

I am disgusted with the talk of these people and the talk of any person who promotes hatred. I am alarmed and saddened by the results of their hate talk.

Credit: MSNBC.com

Stephen Tyrone Johns Credit: MSNBC.com

Stephen Tyrone Johns was the man killed. He had worked as a security guard at the Holocaust Museum for six years. He was doing his job to protect the school children and others who come to the museum to remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. He didn’t deserve to die.

The other news today? Carrie Prejean, Miss California, was fired by Donald Trump. She is the contestant in the Miss USA pageant who spoke out against gay marriage and preached intolerance toward gay people. Is it any accident that these two incidents headline the news in the same day? I think not. They, along with the killing last week of the abortion doctor by a right-wing extremist, speak of intolerance, of people claiming their way is the only right way, of excluding others who are not like you.

We need healing, love, and inclusion. These are what President Obama is practicing and teaching. Why are these positive principles so threatening to those who hate? We must hold the light and shine that light into the dark corners of the extremist corners of the dark hearts in our society. Our country, its citizens, and the citizens of the world need our light.

Here’s “This Little Light of Mine” sung by the African Children’s Choir. I heard them sing in Austin a few months ago. These children shine light and love into our hearts with their singing, dancing, and ebullient spirits. We can learn a lot from children…they remind us to be about joy and love.

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The Chimp Cartoon and Rampant Hatred

19 02 2009

The chimp cartoon in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post has caused a tremendous outcry and outrage. It is hateful and seems to incite violence against our president, who is depicted as a chimpanzee. African-Americans have been deridely depicted as monkeys over the years so this seems to be an outright racial slur. Rupert Murdoch is a billionaire who launched ultra-conservative Fox News amongst many other ventures. Fox News repeatedly spews hatred and racism (especially on Sean Hannity‘s show) such as during the campaign calling Michelle Obama a “baby momma” (a racial putdown), saying that Stalinists worked on Obama’s campaign and that Obama might have been a sleeper agent, likening Obama to a heroin pusher, and the list goes on and on.

Cartoon in NY Post Feb 18 09

Cartoon in NY Post Feb 18 09

Ann Coulter is one of the biggest spewers of hatred on the planet. She thrives on it. She advocated for a white supremacist group (they exist to hate) in her latest book. She repeatedly referred to Obama as B. Hussein Obama during the campaign as part of her repeated attempts to link him to terrorists.

Coulter wrote in her book “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands died in the World Trade Center act “as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them.” She calls four 9/11 widows “self-obsessed broads; millionaires – reveling in their status as celebrities.” This quote from Coulter is just beyond hatred and is the one that sticks out in my mind as one of her most vile, vomited utterings:

I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much . . . And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they’d better hurry up and appear in Playboy.

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News and radio host Rush Limbaugh are also at the top of the list of hate spewers. Limbaugh even had the audacity and stupidity to say recently on his radio program that he hopes that President Obama fails.

Look at what Sarah Palin did in the election. She whipped up mostly white men who attended her rallies into near lynch mobs with the hatred she spewed. One man yelled “kill him” in reference to Barack Obama during her speech.

I have had the most controversy over my post on corporal punishment in schools of any I’ve written. It has been written about on other forums that promote spanking in schools. One such forum said that many teachers who do it enjoy it. Where does this hatred come from that teachers are so sadistic that they enjoy beating (and if you saw the photos of the damage it does to many children, you’d concur it was beating) children they are charged with educating?

Why do people do and say these things? Why do they hate their fellow men, women, and children so much that they would want to hurt them, ridicule them, incite and encourage violence against them, and encourage others to hate?

We worry about destroying and/or stopping terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. so they won’t come to our country again. We fail to see that we have terrorists who live amongst us. People who practice hatred and incite it in others are a form of terrorists. They terrorize others with their dangerous words and actions. They may not be actively recruiting suicide bombers, but they are recruiting others to hate, which can and does often lead to violence.

We need to wake up to the danger in our own country of allowing people with a platform and the means to act out in hatred and speak in hatred. Yes, we have the First Amendment and it is a free country, but freedom also means that we are free of threats from dangerous people who encourage, incite, and practice hatred.