How do we stop hate? Every day when I open the newspaper, listen to the news, or even on occasion overhear a conversation, there are varying degrees of dispute. Some are civil, but too many veer into unabashed hate.
Often the people involved can't see that what they are doing is engaging in an act of hate for another person. Every time someone pokes fun at a gay person it isn't funny, it is engaging in an act that hurts, destroys, and sometimes causes the other to be unable to tolerate the barrage.
Every word of hate is like a ripple in the water-- it spreads. Recently someone battered a young woman to death simply because she was from Iraq. The person, or persons, equated her with a terrorist.
Radio stations employ Talk show personalities who entertain by destroying lives-- verbally. Their audiences are large. People seem to gravitate to that type of personality. There are people who use their incendiary words to fuel their own prejudices and end up acting out the final scene--killing someone.
Many people feel that abortion is wrong and some people will make cogent arguments to support their beliefs. Other people resort to hateful rhetoric which inflames and gives an unstable person permission to kill.
When will we learn that words have an enormous power to unleash actions?
We allow stereotypes to define people. Wear a hoodie, baggy pants, and you're apt to be the target of someone's rage.
Look as if you or your parents or grandparents came from Iraq or Iran or any of their neighbors and you are suspect.
Not all religions are of equal value to some people. Since when did people forget that there is a separation of church and state in this country?
The question isn't only how do we stop the people who ferment, but whether we move into a climate of understanding , of rhetoric laced with a good dose of compassion.
in medias res