Almost every day the news media reports one group of people doing mean and hateful things to another group. Sometimes this takes the form of terrorists activity involving killing and torching. This form of hatred seems prevalent throughout the world.
Why do we humans hate each other? We are supposed to be civilized but we often act like barbarians.
In the U.S. the Southern Poverty Law Centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are the nation’s leading sources for reliable analysis of domestic terror organizations. They have reported that hate and extremist groups continue to operate at an alarming level in our country.
These groups are formenting racist violence, seeking to poison our democracy, and sometimes plotting domestic terrorist attacks. As radical violence continues to plague the U.S., extremists are increasingly moving out of organized groups into the anonymity of the Internet.
For example, the hate site Stormfront and other racist groups have raked in hundreds of new members and tens of thousands of dollars since Dylann Roof’s brutal June 17 killing spree in Charleston, S.C. Now, Florida officials are investigating Stormfront for illegal business activities.
The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 784 active hate groups in the United States in 2014. They have seen an increase in the number of persons associated with white supremacist activity online since 9/11.
Of the 784 hate groups active in the US, California is the state with the highest number of hate groups: 57; the total number of Active Ku Klux Klan groups in 2014 was 72; the largest number of groups by ideology was the Neo-Nazi with 142.
The SPLC advocates three responses to hatred. First, seek justice. We all need to stand up for the powerless, the exploited and other victims of discrimination and hate. For more than four decades, the SPLC has won landmark cases that brought systemic reforms – toppling remnants of Jim Crow segregation and destroying violent white supremacist groups. They have fought for equality for women, vulnerable children, the LGBT community and the disabled. They have protected migrant workers from abuse and ensured the humane treatment of prisoners.
Second, teach tolerance. Their Teaching Tolerance project combats prejudice among our nation’s youth while promoting equality, inclusiveness and just learning environments in the classroom. They produce an array of anti-bias resources that they distribute, free of charge, to educators across the country – award-winning classroom documentaries, lesson plans and curricula, Teaching Tolerance magazine, and more.
Third, fight hate. The SPLC is the premiere U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists – including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi movement, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, antigovernment militias, Christian Identity adherents and others.
They are currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country. They publish investigative reports, train law enforcement officers and share key intelligence, and offer expert analysis to the media and public.
People who hate others are insecure. They have to put someone else down to build themselves up. People who hate are not happy people. Look at their faces. Their hatefulness shows in their appearance. Since they do not believe in their own goodness, anyone who is different threatens them.
Jesus tried to tell us that we should remove all hatred from our hearts. We should even love our enemies.
The reason for his teaching is that we are supposed to be like God who is all loving. We cannot be all loving with hate in our hearts. In addition, if we want to be happy, we have to forgive and let go of anything that harbors hate in our hearts.
“Let us love one another because love is of God” (1John 4:7).
Posted on Fri, August 28, 2015
by Rev. Wilmer L. Todd