Today, in a terrible tragedy, an aging American neo-Nazi walked into the American Holocaust Museum with a rifle and opened fire.  Security guards returned fire and wounded him, but one guard was killed.  A simply inexcusable act of criminality and hatred.   The assailant was known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The news outlets are rightly abuzz with the story.  The Holocaust museum, which I visited about12 years ago, is more moving and powerful than words can here describe.

To desecrate such a holy site with violence, or for such a hateful person to even enter the museum,  is truly evil.

And yet, even as the media outlets talk about hatred, intolerance, hate speech, hate crimes and violence,  I have to wonder if they ever pay attention to the world at large.

For instance, Playboy recently posted a story about conservative women that the writers would like to…well, I can’t describe it here.  Basically, it came to rape.  Follow the link to read the story.  Playboy has since taken the story down, but it’s still available thanks to clever bloggers and Twitterers.  (Adults only, please, due to profane content.  Sorry, but it needs to be held up to ridicule!)

Yet, even as we are shocked at the anti-Semitism that led to the holocaust itself, do we look around at the level of hatred being spewed and considered acceptable?  In the above link, the hatred of conservative ideology spills over to mysogeny and expresses itself in print, as men openly discuss their fantasies of sexual violence.  But then, I suppose that conservative women may not really be humans.

Hatred begins that way.  Violence begins that way.  It begins as a thought.  As a matter of false doctrine, spiteful politics, family cruelty.  It ferments, grows, expands, and then in time, the hateful thought becomes so important that the hater allows it to explode into physical violence.  Why else would Islamic terrorists torture and murder Jewish hostages whom they had never met?   Why else would Daniel Pearl be decapitated on video?  Why else would a holocaust begin?

Our culture thinks that hateful, violent, profane commentary is charming, liberating, edgy, educated or simply profitable.  All one needs to do is read the Huffington Post or TMZ to be stunned at the intolerance in the commentary and comments.  But then, if you think the right things, hatred is alright, isn’t it?

There’s a remarkably short gulf between a rape fantasy and and a murder.  Between a tired of F-bombs and a fist in the face.  Between distaste for a conservative and crimilized speech for that conservative (or liberal, for that matter).  It’s only a short distance between describing religious individuals as ‘the problem’ and putting them in camps, all over again.

Laugh if you will; call me an alarmist.  But read your history, especially the history of the time leading up to the holocaust, which cost millions of lives; and began as little more than hate-speech.  And which today, thanks to hatred, cost yet one more life.


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