On May 1, 1992, Rodney King asked America an important question. Today, I am asking the same question:
“Can’t we all get along?
What is going on in America in 2023? Is the grand American experiment, a melting pot of races, creeds, and religions, doomed to failure?
There have been positive developments since 1992. Minority citizens have played an increasingly important role in business, politics, law, medicine, and science. We have become more conscious of our biases and prejudices and, as a result, we have taught our children to be more tolerant. In this decade, a new generation of adults will be the most tolerant group of American adult citizens in history. As a nation of immigrants, we can celebrate the accomplishments of thousands of minority citizens. Minorities have also become a powerful voting bloc.
So, why do I repose ‘the question?’ I recently learned that Saturday, February 25, 2023 was a “National Day of Hate” in America. This is not a misprint. Do not adjust your smart phone or tablet. Do not restart your computer. Saturday, February 25, 2023 was a “National Day of Hate.”
Police departments in Chicago, New York City, and other large cities across the country posted bulletins on various social media channels and sent direct emails to religious groups warning of the event that encourages Jew haters to vandalize and deface Jewish institutions. The various police agencies warned local Jewish communities to “be on the lookout” for suspicious activity.
As of Thursday, police agencies report that hate chatter has been limited and not widespread. However, one hate group called for “Mass anti-Semitic Action” and urged followers to “shock the masses with banner drops, stickers, fliers, and graffiti.” Various police agencies have stepped up patrols and increased resources to houses of worship and other Jewish institutions. Jewish Citizens were warned to stay vigilant and ‘keep situationally aware.”
I won’t provide the names of the various groups responsible for this event. To do so would elevate them to a level of undeserved public awareness. I trust that police departments around the country will do their jobs and protect their citizens. I do not write this as a “watch your backs” alert. Jewish and law enforcement organizations have already done a good job of that. That’s how I found out about this so-called event.
Since 2016, approximately 3,000 acts of Jew hatred have been committed in America, some minor, some deadly. Jews must pray with one eye on their prayer books and the other on their surroundings, in fear that their house of worship might be the next target.
Our government and our people must seek ways to bring our religious and ethnic communities together, as one nation, with liberty and justice for all. Speaking out against hate is one way. Passing legislation is another. About two years ago, H.R. 3515-Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Act was introduced to Congress. Today, it does not appear to be close to passage and is still kicking around somewhere in the House Judiciary Committee. The purpose of the law is to improve reporting of hate crimes and improve hate crime prevention efforts. How controversial is that?
Some people think gridlock is a good thing, but how is it that we can’t pass anti-hate legislation in America? Hate, any kind of hate, is always a terrible thing. Hate for one ethnic group or religion is hate for all. It is also the exact opposite of what America is supposed to stand for. America, home of equality and freedom of religion. A “National Day of Hate” in America . . . we are better than this . . . aren’t we?
Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, ripped-from-the headlines, realistic fiction that speak truth to power and champion the rights of citizens in our justice system. These novels are dedicated to the social justice movement. They educate, spark discussion and inspire readers to action. One of these novels, Betrayal High, was written in response to school shootings. For more information, please visit www.markmbello.com. Mark also hosts the Justice Counts podcast with Lean to the Left editor & publisher Bob Gatty, presenting bi-weekly interviews focused on social justice.