Thursday, December 13, 2018


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Face the Hate

            Hundreds of area people received mailings this week containing words and images disparaging certain racial and ethnic groups.  Outrage followed.

            People say, "Don't publicize it because you're giving them what they want."  Wrong.

            Don't hide hate – face it. 

            Publicize it so that people know what is going on and know not to be intimidated by it.

            Publicize it so they know they're not alone.

            Publicize it so that officials take it seriously.

            Publicize it so that people of good will can express their disgust.

            Publicize it to help good people stay that way.

            Most of all, publicize it to remember.

            That's our responsibility and we take it seriously.  We also take seriously, our choice to vehemently oppose hate in all forms.

            Mailing a letter that does not contain a direct threat is not against the law.  But, that doesn't mean we have to do nothing about it.

            When you see that every penny spent on spewing hate results in mountains of gold from people who share their solidarity in uniting against it, is a reminder that good can still conquer evil.

            Yes, you want people to talk about it, discuss their opinions, views and feelings. 

            In an era of divisiveness in our great nation and even our own communities, it is important to stand-up and shout-out-loud about the things that unite us.

            Many years ago German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and their purging of chosen groups of people.

            Over the years, there have been several variations and adaptations of his words, but they all deal with persecution, guilt and responsibility.  The variation below is etched on a stone in front of the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston Massachusetts:

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak out -
Because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

            Ignore it?  Not me.  I choose to face the hate.





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