Today, while taking a quick break from a document I’m writing to skim the headlines, I saw an article in the Daily News on the Academic Decathalon and its funding. That’s naturally of interest, but what really got me annoyed was the comment on the article that “You’d have all the money you need for this important program if LAUSD would just eliminate providing free grub for all the little anchor baby darlings.” There are two things coded in this comment that really got to me: the notion that LAUSD always overpays and the parents contribute nothing, and the notion that all the students in LAUSD (and in this program) are either illegal or children of illegals. We all know both are not true: there are many hardworking and honest people in government service (and that includes the school district), and most of the children in LA Unified are citizens, children of parents that work and vote and pay taxes and do all sorts of good stuff.
This comment is just an example of the hatred that is pervasive in our society today. We’ve seen a shooting where race hatred or distrust may be the underlying cause. We have an Iraqi woman (who had been legally in the US for 20 years) killed in her home, apparently just for being Iraqi. We have death threats against Sikhs in a Virginia suburb. We have antisemitic attacks in France. On the political side, we have promotions of paintings showing Obama burning the constitution… and look at all the Dick Cheney jokes that came out after his heart transplant. I don’t agree with the man’s politics, but that’s no reason for the level of hatred I’ve seen towards him.
Being Jewish,I’m not an expert on Christianity, but my understanding is that Christianity, like Judaism, teaches one to love one’s fellow man (generic term). We are supposed to be understand; we are supposed to work towards peace. I don’t know for sure, but I’m confident that many of these folks doing the hating these days profess to be Christian (and even if they are not, I’m not aware of any religion that teaches one to hate–even Islam, to my understanding, is a religion of peace). Can one truly be a Christian if one doesn’t use Christ as the model of behavior?
What is destroying our society today is the underlying hatred. People see intentional evil (which really isn’t there) in our leaders, in our government, in individuals who are different than themselves. As long as this hatred is there, we cannot work together to make society a better place. As today is National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, I declare today “National Hate Hatred Day”. Celebrate the day by doing something to battle the hatred of others you see around you. Correct a misconception. Speak up against the haters, and show there is no reason to hate. Find something good to say about someone you disagree with. See the good in the person who is different than you, and let them know you see it. Let’s show that there’s a better way than hating.
Music: Wyoming’s Musical Ambassadors (The Troopers): Excerpts from the 1967 VFW Runners-Up