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The Cost of War

Recent Books I have Read and Recommend

  • "John Adams" by David McCollough
  • "Traitor to His Class" by H.W. Brands
  • "FDR" by Jean Edward Smith
  • "Truman" by David McCollough
  • "Thomas Jefferson Passionate Pilgrim" by Alf J. Mapp, Jr.

Friday, June 12, 2009

When Will We Ever Learn?

I just don't understand where all the hate comes from in this country. I am quite sure there are religious people out there who would not hesitate to tell me that it comes from whatever purveyor of evil is in their belief system, and all the different religions would argue about which one is the real one. Then of course, there is the good vs. evil line that you can't have one without the other. It seems to me that in the past few years the level of hatred has ballooned exponentially. I mean, I could be wrong; maybe I am just over sensitive to it, or maybe because of the twenty-four hour news we get these days, I am exposed to more, but it seems as if it's everywhere. 1The number of hate groups is on the rise in the United States. According to statistics released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups across the U.S. have increased by 54 percent since the year 2000. This seems logical, since the last eight years have been about government by fear. But then we find the election of Barack Obama, the first minority U.S. president, has also fueled hate groups.

It's not just adults that participate in the hate it's the kids as well. 2On July 4, 2003 a lesbian couple in Boston took their two children to an Independence Day celebration in a local park — and ran smack into a gang of teenagers who did not appreciate their presence. After the teens allegedly taunted the family with anti-gay slurs and threats, 15-year-old Anita Santiago allegedly slugged 35-year-old Lisa Craig hard enough to knock her to the ground. According to police reports, Santiago and her fellow gang members then bashed Craig's head against the sidewalk and kicked the woman so brutally that her brain hemorrhaged and she needed more than 200 stitches.

A few hours later, in the blue-collar suburb of Farmingville, N.Y., a Mexican family was startled awake — just in time — by a fire that would tear through their home and reduce it to ashes in minutes. Five boys, ages 15 to 17, had decided to top off their July 4th festivities by torching the house with leftover firecrackers. Asked why, one of the teens simply told police that "Mexicans live there" — as if that were reason enough. There have been studies by hate-crime experts like Jack Levin, director of Northeastern University's Brudnick Center and co-author of the new book, Why We Hate, show that incidents perpetrated by youngsters, became more frequent from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, "plummeted" during the Clinton years. But since 9/11, the number of hate crimes by kids has risen sharply — and they appear to be more brutal than ever. "What we're seeing," says Eric Ward, a longtime observer of extremist youth who works at Chicago's Center for New Community, "is a more militant, street-fighter culture." Now as we know, the early-1980s to the early 1990s, we had Republican presidents and then Clinton was a democrat. Also, we had economic prosperity during the Clinton years and not through Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. This, in my opinion is more than a coincidence.

More recently we have had eight more years of Republican rule and the level of hate has risen spectacularly over those years. And now, we have the first African-American president and violence is rising due to more bigotry, racism and religious zeal. The abortion doctor Tiller who was killed while attending church is an illustration of what religious fervor can cause. And then, just a couple of days ago we see prejudice and intolerance once again with the attack by a white supremacist on the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

We as a civilization must learn to live with one another and put away all this hatred, bigotry, religiosity and racism or we will not survive. We are being exposed to hatred on the radio, TV and on the internet. There is a war going on for the hearts and minds of everyday denizens of what should be a peaceful society, where people love and take care of each other, but instead is a mélange of greedy, hateful, self serving people who show their ignorance by being led like sheep to slaughter. Hate begets hate, bigotry begets bigotry and so the endless cycle goes on. When will we ever learn?

Hate Group Numbers Up By 54% Since 2000

Age of Rage Summer 2004


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