Imagine a Grandfather happily accompanying his grandson to the store to purchase a poster board for a school project...a simple chore that under normal circumstances would solidify the value of family and provide a lifelong memory. But this was not to be for a 69-year-old Kentucky Grandfather, last Wednesday.
He was shot dead in cold blood in front of his 12-year-old Grandson by a hater, Gregory Bush, 51, a white man, inside a grocery store, near Louisville. The hate monger, who had just earlier failed to gain entry into a Black Church in the area, targeted and murdered the innocent Grandpa because of his color. The hater then fled to the parking lot of the grocery store, where he shot and killed another Black person, age-67.
These senseless killings, perpetrated by a marginally mental failure of human a being, come amid a toxic atmosphere of hate permeating over the United States (US) which is fueled by ease of access to firearms and swirling rhetoric of nationalism.
Another hater, Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested in Plantation, Florida, on Friday and charged with mailing some 14 pipe bombs to progressives, including two former Presidents, a former Vice-President, a former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate, a former Attorney General, two former intelligence chiefs, two sitting members of Congress and a Philanthropist, all critics of President Donald Trump.
And then tragically yesterday, another hater, Robert Bowers, 46, barged into a Jewish Synagogue, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he massacred 11 innocent worshipers.
Hate in America has surged since Trump assumed the White House. A CBS report, dated June 26, 2018, found that hate crimes increased by 12% in 2017 over 2016 figures. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports a stunning nearly 60% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from 2016 to 2017. The past week's tragedies are indicative of such hate and they have occurred in the aftermath since the self-declaration by Trump that he is a nationalist. He has condemned the recent violent attacks.
But casually condemning hate is not sufficient to removing hate from present American culture. Condemnation of hate must be truly meant as virtuous and it must be emphatically rejected via rational thought and speech and action and constructive nation-building.