I, along with the rest of the world, was appalled and horrified when earlier this week we learned of a hate-filled shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
A white male entered a black church and shot and killed nine innocent, harmless people before fleeing.
It did not take long for law enforcement to catch up with him and he allegedly confirmed that his motive was pure hate.
There is a saying I have repeated numerous times in these blogs over the years. “Everything we believe to be true is it to, until it isn’t.”
Somehow this young man this young man’s mind became poisoned to the idea that certain groups of people needed to be removed from the planet and took it upon himself to do so.
I cannot even begin to imagine how it is possible for any functioning human, equipped with a brain designed to manage logical and critical thinking, to feel bias against any group or based purely on race, religion or creed.
I most certainly can understand how we can dislike and even hate, another person based on real or imagined behaviour on their part.
We can take what we believe them to have done and build it up in our minds to such a degree as to form hate.
It makes no sense to me to hate anyone but I can certainly understand how it can come about.
What I completely fail to understand is how any person, with even a single functioning brain cell, can direct those feelings of hate against all members of an identifiable group whose only crime is being members of that group.
Regardless of which group is the target of such hate, the hatred itself indicates truly distorted thinking.
To dislike or even hate another based purely on their ethnicity is a sad reflection of the levels to which some thinking has plummeted.
Hatred is certainly not new. It has poisoned our souls for centuries and is as senseless and absurd today as it has always been.
To so hate others to the point that it becomes okay in one’s head to blindly and randomly assassinate, is like a form of mental illness for which there is no cure, and which seems to mainly afflict those whose lives are not unfolding the way they want and wish to blame others for their own shortcomings.
These horrific events always reignite the debate on capital punishment.
On one side are those who believe that stealing the life from another requires the offenders to forfeit their own and on the other side are those who cling to the thought that to take the life of a convicted murderer relegates society to the same level of criminality as the person being executed.
There is no right or wrong side to this debate. Everything we believe to be true is true – until it isn’t.
What I believe to be true is that the moment we all begin to view each other through the lens of sameness – we are, after all, all human beings – and embrace our differences for the richness they bring to all, will be the beginning of the end of group hatred.
Edmund Burke famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
History has repeatedly borne witness to his sage words and we all have a role to play if we hope to ever eradicate hate from our world.
This is not a case of “somebody should do something.” We all need to speak up when we see and hear hateful actions and comments.
It’s not just the right thing to do, it is the only thing to do.
After all, if we don’t stand up for others, who will be there for us if the finger of hatred is ever pointed our way?
Till we read again.