This is not a recruitment ad but a sobering view of hatred. The picture was taken from James von Brunn's website. He's the man who walked into the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, yesterday and fatally shot a security guard for the sole reason that the security guard was black and working at the Holocaust Museum. The shooter claimed to be a World War II veteran. Perhaps he was.
Many of you have read before about my favorite World War II veteran. A man who landed in Normandy on D-plus-14. Who told stories of the sky glowing orange on three sides from the fighting - the fourth side being the blackness of the Channel. A man who helped liberate a camp in Austria and was in charge of delousing the Russian POWs. Whose stories were first-hand accounts of the tragedy known as the Holocaust. Whose stories were scrubbed clean to become my bedtime stories as a child - of being separated from his unit in France, guarding the tanks during a hot summer night, attending Christmas service with a French family who invited him to eat with them.
How hatred develops is easy to understand. Perceived slights and indignities, one's feeling of entitlement not being supported by all around, grudges left to fester. But it's also learned. And quite frequently at an early age. One way of reaching younger and more impressionable people is through Facebook.
Facebook won't take down the Holocaust denier pages claiming that they are expressions of free speech, however ignorant. There's a fine line between free speech and Big Brother. We can't become like Iran which shutters access to websites, like Facebook, that the government considers to be a threat. Yet, there are stories from here in America of local government tyrants doing the same thing because certain online threads are undermining their credibility. But where can we draw the line?
What about people who declare that Dr. Tiller should die for his actions and someone following through on that? What about musicians who shout to the world about forcibly putting women in their place? What about people who claim the Holocaust never happened?
Any threat, verbal or written, against the President is perceived as real and investigated. All citizens should be given that same chance of survival. Whether an individual, like Dr. Tiller, or a group, such as Jews, and African-Americans, and Muslims, and Christians. For we've all been victims, at one time or another, of persecution and hatred and bigotry and ignorance.
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