What to make of the news that a neo-Nazi gunman killed a security guard at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC? Rabbi Marvin Hier says it shows “that the cancer of hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism is alive and well in America.” According to President Obama, it means “we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms.”
I don’t know, I’m not sure that we really needed this particularly horrid act to remind us that hatred and prejudice exist in our country. But it does seem to offer an important sign that for all of our angst about international terrorism, we’d do well to recognize that it’s alive and well in our own backyard.
And it seems to be working. The New York Times reported today that the late Dr. George Tiller’s Witchita abortion clinic has now closed permanently…
What worries me most is that those who thrive off dissension will use these incidents to validate their own bigotry and to push their own agendas. There’s a great piece by Thomas Frank in the WSJ about this phenomenon in the Tiller case, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124459106205300065.html
With leaders of the Israeli settler movement already calling Obama, “the most anti-semitic president”…
…those of us on the peacenik, why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along side need to respond that, while there will always be antisemitism and hatred, the way forward is through dialogue, not circling the wagons and raising higher barriers.
What about the guns used in these hate crimes? There are more guns in America than people and this issue is the GIGANTIC 600 LB GORILLA in our midst.
I am sending an email from the Coalition Against Gun Violence. Also, find Steve Lopez’s column from the Los Angeles Times from June 17th ’09.