A Week of Hate
Jenna Miller, Opinion Editor
The week of October 22nd was a waking nightmare for the United States. A Florida man sent pipe bombs to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, and many more democratic public figures who have been critical of Donald Trump. Luckily, none of the bombs detonated and no one was harmed. According to The New York Times, the serial bomber had an extensive criminal record and a history of right-wing extremism. In addition to this, a man in Kentucky entered a Kroger and fatally shot two African American customers, one in the store and one in the parking lot. This was after he tried and failed to enter a nearby predominantly black church. Given the circumstances, most major news sources have called it a racially charged crime.
According to Chaplain Hutchinson, acts of violence such as these usually stem from a rather particular chain of events. The perpetrator has an experience with someone of another race, religion, or other group of some kind that never gets resolved. Without reconciliation, this offense festers until it reaches full-fledged prejudice against all members of a certain group. At this point, particularly impulsive people can be driven to commit unspeakable acts of violence. Given this progression, one might wonder what we can do to avoid unwillingly cultivating this kind of hatred in our own hearts. Hutchinson suggests that these impulses stem from the presence of violent imagery in media and a lack of discretion when it comes to viewing such things. If we allow this kind of violence to get into our minds, it can reach our hearts.
The end of the week brought the worst of it. On Saturday, October 27th, a gunman entered a Pittsburgh synagogue armed with an AR-15 and multiple handguns. He reportedly shouted antisemitic slurs before opening fire. By the time he was arrested, he had killed 11 people and wounded several others. Officials quickly found that he targeted and harassed Jews on social media prior to the shooting. This was the last of the horrific events of that week.
As more and more crimes like this are reported, do not allow yourself to become numb and apathetic to it. Protect your heart and the hearts of those around you. Stop the hatred.
Think about it. Talk about it. Pray about it.