Tolerance, Love, Kindness Instead of Hate … PLEASE!

Mass shootings, racist teachers, pushing, shoving and name-calling … so may signs of increasing incivility in the U.S. today.  Where does it all come from and more importantly, how do we stop it?  Where do people get the idea that one race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, or religion is somehow superior?  Humanity sometimes seems to be almost a thing of the past.  Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner have a few worthy thoughts on the topic …

Combating Hate

Silence is complicity

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

29 November 2022

Antisemitisim. Racism. Homophobia. Misogyny. Bigotry. The demonization of immigrants.

That these forces are ascendant is newsworthy. And it is vital they are considered thus. That these forces exist, however, is not news. Neither is the fact that they are being stoked, winked at, and normalized by the previous president. And neither is how most of the Republican Party leadership is silent, supportive, or insufficiently disapproving.

To say all this is not a political criticism. It is about confronting a grave threat to our nation and the world. Politics should be about a competition for ideas that fall within the realm of civilized discourse. What these people are peddling is not policy, but prejudice.

Repeating these sentiments should not diminish the importance of the message. The need for us all to confront this with the frequency that we are is evidence of the salience of the mission. And let’s be clear: It is of extra importance for those not directly targeted to speak the loudest. Silence is complicity. To speak softly is cowardice. 

The latest outrage swirls around an occasion at Mar-a-Lago in which the former president dined with avowed antisemites. But we do a disservice to history and the dangers we face by bundling recriminations under the banners of combatting “MAGA” or “Trumpism.” The former president may have built his political power by tapping into a well of hate, but the reservoir was already there. Others are eager to draw from its waters as well.

Discrimination, often enforced with violence, has been a hallmark of our country since its founding. White supremacy is embedded in our Constitution. And the biases and bigotries of the American electorate have shaped some of our national narrative ever since.

To be sure, there is a powerful counter-narrative. It begins with the noble words of our founding documents, which laid out a vision of equality and justice unimaginable at the time of their writing. Over the centuries, countless activists and dreamers have leaned on the courage of their convictions to wrest the nation toward a path of greater inclusion and enlightenment. Most who signed up for service in this army of conscience are not famous, but we are lucky to live in a world made better by their mettle. They have helped to make the nation better and now keep hopes alive that it can and will be getting better, a lot better, still.

We have undoubtedly made progress, but the undercurrents of hatred have never been fully expunged. It takes very little for them to resurge. Far more energy and commitment are required in combating them than in fomenting them.

We should find hope in the journey our nation has taken before. The bigotry we are now decrying was once largely accepted political discourse, in both parties. This is not ancient history. Many of us were of memory age when antisemitic, homophobic, and racist statements were spoken without a second thought. Our country was a weaker place because of it. Our struggle now is to be vigilant in making sure we do not return to that darkness.

We know we have shared these sentiments in this space before. And we know we will almost assuredly have ample reason to do so again. That is the reality. And that is all the more reason this needs to be said. By all of us. Often.

67 thoughts on “Tolerance, Love, Kindness Instead of Hate … PLEASE!

  1. I’ll have to repeat here.
    Those who start playing the Hate Card can find those who are being threatened by them will suddenly pay back. I am hoping the trend displayed in the mid-terms will cause a level in discontent within the Republicans that will lead to a split, giving room for the Old School to come back and clean out The Augean stables that Republicanism has become.
    Otherwise, those who sew the wind will reap the Whirlwind and will have their own Berlin May 1945 to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was on the receiving end of a bit of that hatred tonight and … admittedly, it stunned me, but fortunately is perfectly harmless. Apparently, I am not well-educated, not very intelligent, and do nothing but whine. That said …

      I have to admit that I have reached the point where I don’t believe the great divide in this country can be narrowed, have lost faith that we are all humans who can and will come together at some point. I think there are two schools of political ideology that are 180° apart and neither side is willing to move a single degree. Until … oh, maybe 2-3 weeks ago … I really thought there was hope, but … I don’t think so anymore. Yes, we will have an awakening such as the Battle of Berlin, but … messier. Much, much messier.

      Liked by 1 person

              • Very eloquent and detailed post by Ben, I can see there has been a ‘history’ here.
                But, Derrick, is it?. He has crossed a couple of lines near to me and thus will be visited.
                By a UK Socialist, Christian and believer in the True USA.
                I’ll be reasonable.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Ben’s or Derricks? I knew of Derrick’s because when he linked to my post, it left a ‘pingback’ notification. And I knew of Ben’s because I follow both of his blogs, “Meerkat Musings” and “Coalition of the Brave”

                  Heh heh … you’re like me, still trying to remember where you left your bottle of water that you just had in your hand less than a minute ago!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah.
                      USA played a good tournament but came up against an on-form Netherlands, which is no fun for any team. To use an old british soccer comment ‘The boys done good’.
                      England seems to have found their form and now face France (Eek…Formidable!!!)
                      As for Wales…sigh… use another soccer comment ‘They just did not turn up on the park (field)’

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • S’ok Jill.
                      The Wales team let their supporters down. We’ve seen a lot of determination, spirit and character in the lesser ranked teams…but not Wales….
                      England beat France? 🤔
                      Not playing out bets on it though.
                      Sheila is rooting for Argentina as their goalkeeper plays for her hometown team Aston Villa (yea!)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And now I’m left scratching my head 😕 … Sheila is originally from Argentina? No, that can’t be right … for Aston Villa is in England … so … how does an Argentinian who is playing on the Argentine soccer team play for an English team as well? 🥴

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ah Jill.
                      Welcome to the world of ‘Football’⚽⚽⚽.
                      The earnings are so good at the top that most teams with aspirations to trophies or staying in the prestigious leagues have international squads.
                      For instance, Japan did so well because a large number of their squad play in European teams. West African countries can call on players with experience in France. And so on.
                      Sheila is from Brimingham which has two teams (or one and a joke depending on your affiliations) Aston Villa and Birmingham City. (🥱)……Sheila is a ‘Villa’ fan (villains), and Martinez was approached and signed up for Villa. Villa with a grand past but is now languishing a bit so Villa fans will snatch at any bit of ‘glory’….It will soon be common currency amongst Villa faithful that Argentina’s success is down to Villa’s goalkeeper Martinez. See? Simple why you know how🙃

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • Did this guy Derrick leave a pingback on your post Jill, because I can’t find it (Looking at you WP?).
                    What is interesting is I find he does not appear to have a place where you can reply to his posts.
                    Says a lot in my book.


                    • Yeah, he did … that’s how I found out about his post. I didn’t approve the pingback (it went into moderation automatically), but have just now approved it so you should be able to find it there now. I didn’t see any place for comments on his post, either, and that’s probably why Ben responded via a post of his own. Y’know … it takes a coward not to allow comments. Apparently it scares him to think of someone disagreeing with him, as he undoubtedly knew some would! Yep, a coward with a big mouth is what he is!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ben kindly gave me permission to post my response on his site. Since I would not trust WP to handle that response without backup, it was typed out first on Word Doc then copied & pasted onto his comments, which looked ok, except when Ben received it there were no breaks for paragraphs🤬. He still read it though.
                      I will now attempt to send you the same, and try to get those paragraphs in!

                      Take Two….

                      This was intended as a response to a blogger ‘theologyarcheology’ but I found (after writing this) he does not have a comments. What a shame.
                      Ben has kindly allowed me space, bear in mind this is addressed to that blogger and not Ben

                      “Whereas I agree with your opening comments on the opening two sentences of your post 1st December 2022, it is with a certain irony I do so. We must all accept when we step onto this stage. For as we are taught in Matthew 7:2 Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (I do love the style and poetry of that English.) Salutary words indeed.

                      One of the issues we must all consider when quoting any part of both Old and New Testaments of the books of the Bible, is that we can be certain there will be another extract to counter our own quote. Thus, by wholly relying on selective quotes we run the risk of being seen in the same place as the Pharisees with whom Our Lord had several encounters:
                      Matthew 23:28, KJV: “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

                      And there is the final matter. The original words were spoken in the local language, written down, in the case of the New Testament in likely Greek, thence into Latin, thence eventually into an English, and revised. At each stage there will be someone’s addition, misinterpretation of the translation and so one. Thus, the written is not the final say. Meditation and reflection upon those words in context of the times and in relation to other sections of a book or books of both Old and New Testaments are essential to receive the full message of Our Lord; lest we fall into listening to only to Humanity.
                      We should always be careful when invoking the words of Our Lord.
                      Anyway, let us move onto to ‘safer’ ground, the flawed and unhappy world of Humanity with its manifold shortcomings and foibles.

                      Moving on, into the question of Democracy. A very troublesome concept to pin down, as there are many versions. It is interesting that you post up ‘the answer is that America is NOT a democracy’ in a manner which suggests this does not concern you. Would this mean you are at odds with say The Republican Liberty Caucus? This organisation would seem to be very concerned on the matter. There again it could be argued are people getting Democracy and Liberty confused? The question here is ‘What is Democracy’? At its basics Democracy can be said to be the right for everyone to voice their opinion, and then accept the Majority opinion. Something which would seem to be sadly lacking in sections of the Republican Wing of the American System.
                      Having raised these complexities I would like to ask you a simple question. Are you in favour of the right of the Majority to have its say? And for their will to be the binding matter?

                      Now we come to the matter of Socialism. And being a socialist I have to advise you, in referring back to the previous item, ie Democracy, you seems to have made the error you accuse others of. You have failed to understand the concepts. Something in fact quite common in the USA, which I accept. Although this knee-jerk use of the term as an insult or accusation is something which does cause a wry smile as it does display a weak point in the accuser
                      Now like Democracy there are sundered versions of Socialism. To keep the matter simple there are some common factors to the various ideas. These being.
                      A free and efficient system of Education.
                      A free system and effective of Health Care services
                      A welfare system to support the vulnerable, elderly, incapacitated and those who have become temporarily unemployed.
                      A full staffed and effective system of emergency care services.
                      A Comprehensive and effective system of Law, Justice and Corrective Imprisonment.
                      These would be the responsibility of the government, for funding and operation, with a view for investment in the present and future of the nation.
                      Of course each system should be responsive to the views of the public, should they feel there are failures.
                      Funding of course in part comes from taxation, thus there is a compact between Public, Services and Government.
                      Each person understanding their contribution will benefit themselves as well as others, and thus building community.
                      To declare that someone is suggesting something along these paths this is a big whine, is a rather tawdry line of arguing. And adding that ‘someone doesn’t like the way things are done’ is probably not the best line of argument at a time when many not on the liberal / Democrat side of politics are still complaining about the results of several elections in the USA. It does suggest the Republican Party should stop complaining about the election result of 2020. Do you agree?

                      With regard to a ‘Minimum wage’ it is advisable to remember the old song ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’. Unless you have three miles home in the pouring rain because you can’t afford bus fare, carrying three bags of shopping with plastic bags around your socks because you shoes leak, and the shoes money has to go to your child’s foot wear. Until you have forgone a breakfast so your child can eat. Unless you have been there and counselled others in a compassionate manner how to get out of that fix. Unless you have been working full-time on two or three jobs and still lose your home. You do not have are any right to comment on what is a constitutes a Wage.
                      Another aspect which must be considered both in relation to the Minimum Wage and also Welfare would in the teachings of Our Lord.
                      When we look at the depth of the message given to us in Matt 19:24 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” We have a warning that to holding onto wealth may compromise your chance of entering the Kingdom. Reinforced by Jesus’ advice to the rich young man,
                      again in
                      Matthew, 19 “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” . Now we are not sure of exactly the words Our Lord used, but the message is clear enough
                      Thus an Employer or a Government is in the place of the Wealthy, while the worker in need of a National Minimum Wage is in the place of the Poor.
                      A similar matter in education. To argue that it is up to the parent or person to ensure there can be a full and comprehensive education is a poor investment for the future of the nation, the inference being that only those fortunate to have wealth which they came by have the right to this education thus denying the full potential of the nation. This is not a good argument to give to Our Lord.

                      Another aspect which is disappointing is to suggest a person who is arguing a case for equality of opportunity is ‘trampling’. The idea of independence of thought and will is one thing, but to embrace the idea that to assist others through community effort, bearing in mind a community can range from a neighbourhood unto a nation suggests that the weak and the disadvantaged must give way to the fortunate. Fortunate not necessarily in terms of capital but circumstances. Circumstances it should be borne in mind as actually transitory. We need only consider the case of the rich man and the beggar at his door, how their fortunes changed.

                      The history of the USA differs from that of other regions of the world, in that independence of the individual and a lighter hand of government has been nurtured over the centuries and in general has been how the USA has evolved, it should be borne in mind that indulgence of these approaches to the disadvantage of substantial parts of the society will lead to a corrosion. You in the USA are but a young nation, not three hundred years old, we who have a thousand years of history to teach us would warn you to be careful of assumptions.
                      Your history is but a small measure.

                      I would conclude by suggesting if you wish to voice your opinions then you should arrange your blogging site so that folk can leave replies.”

                      He really should have a commentary box, then he wouldn’t a socialist brit posting this all over the place. Would he now?
                      (Reprintings / repostings available on request. Copyright laws do not apply)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Those who ‘argue that point’ can
                      Take a hike / A running jump.
                      Or to be historical and weighty, using Oliver Cromwell’s remark to a Parliament in 1653:

                      “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. The hate also goes under the guise of freedom of speech. These idiots believe they should be able to abuse you whenever they feel like it. Obviously most of the hate comes via the internet because these cowards would never say this to your face unless they outnumbered you ten to one. If the hate speech became law what would be the next step….they have the freedom to beat you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, and in fact I am working now on a post about the concept of freedom of speech, what it really means vs what some people think it means. You’re also right about the Internet being the main venue for hate speech … one can reach hundreds of thousands of people within seconds … that was not possible just a few years ago! Is it a good thing? Like everything else, it depends on how it is used.


  3. History is at a bursting point. Either the hatreds etc of the old guard will prevail, or the love and acceptance of people as we are of the new humans will win the day. Whether we want to admit it or not we are at war — with ourselves, and this war needs to be concluded. And the new humans must win.
    The old guard is well aware of this war. “They are afraid of being replaced!” Uprooted! Demolished! They are fighting with everything they have. And this is what the new humans, we kind, loving, accepting people that we are becoming need to realize. That we are fighting for our future is not in our vocabulary, because we should not have to fight to be allowed to be ourselves! Yet that is what is happening. The old guard are willing to use weapons of violence to win, and we new humans are trying to win by attrition. In the long run our weapon is superior, but only if we admit that we are at war! Until we admit this, we are at risk of being stymied by the old guard. And that will set humanity back thousands of years. Maybe forever…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that you have far more confidence in the “new humans” than I do. First, remember that in reality those ‘new humans’ are children of the ‘old guard’ and have been raised with all their prejudices and dated beliefs. ‘Tis true that some humans have awakened to the fact that this is one large planet populated by some 8 billion people and millions of other species, and that unless we work together to solve the climate crisis, we are all doomed, young and old alike. But others follow in the footsteps of their parents and seek wealth and power. I don’t see this as a war … I see it as an evolution rather than a revolution … where some people ARE waking to the realities and are committed to try to do something about it. My own belief is that humans will extinct themselves by the end of this century, either through nuclear warfare or environmental neglect.


      • I see it as evolution too, but evolution of the spirit, not evolution of the brain or body. (Thus, I am a Spiritual Evolutionist.) You forgot to mention that the “woke folk” are having kids too, so the world is in the process of change already. More and more kids (of the old guard) are becoming woke than children of the new humans are going back to sleep. Attrition will win, but it could use some help. Not revolution in this aspect of life –revolutions are for political change — but a faster evolution, which is coming.

        Liked by 1 person

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  5. Jill, fear the other. Hate the other. These are quite old tactics to garner support for a so-called leader looking to distract his or her followers and get them to do their bidding. Trump is not the first so-called leader to divide and conquer. Sadly, we citizens never learn that we are being taken as fools. The Pentagon Papers is an apt documented example of four US presidents perpetuating a con on the American people to promote a war against “evil” communism in Vietnam, a war which we knew we could not win. And, Americans and Vietnamese people died needlessly. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • A line from South Pacific that you have quoted a few times, “You have to be carefully taught … ” comes to mind here. No, Trump is not the first leader to divide and conquer, but he has left lasting damage beyond what any other in the U.S. has managed in 235 years. You’re right … we are often played for a fool by the very people who are supposed to be looking after our best interests, securing a brighter future for the next generations. I fear today that Trump’s legacy, if one can call it such, will be to have created so much havoc, done so much damage, that we walk right into the lion’s den of autocracy. I still believe that taking big money out of politics is the first step in having a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” When members of Congress are multi-millionaires and are beholden to industry giants, it’s a recipe for disaster for the average Joe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • War makes billions of dollars for various companies. The little guys who join up when they are 18 or 20 looking for excitement and a steady job and the officers who have bought into the god, country and flag ideals, help keep it going, even though they are expendable. War is an old man’s game.

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