An open letter to the purveyors of hate

The following editorial was published in our local newspaper,  The Daily Sun on July 3, 2022.

OUR POSITION: There should be no appetite for, nor acceptance of, bigotry here or anywhere.

People in Venice, Sarasota, Punta Gorda and elsewhere have been waking up to find a vile little package in their yards — a plastic bag weighted with rice or corn, containing an anti-semitic message the details of which don’t deserve to be gone into.

We have a question for the lowlifes inflicting such offensive propaganda on the public: How dare you!

How dare you befoul our cities with your bigotry and hatred. You were not invited here and you are not welcome here.

You shouldn’t be welcome anywhere, but we know you are not the only people of your ilk, unfortunately.

We don’t know your identities, because, like other vermin, you prefer to operate in the shadows. But we know who you are: You’re prejudiced, unthinking, uncaring people who consider themselves entitled to foist their baseless biases on strangers.

Of course, that’s not how you see yourselves. No doubt you consider yourselves defenders of your faith and your country. But you’re dead wrong on both counts.

Your religion is one of tolerance and love preached by a man born and raised as a Jew. The Jewish Torah is part of your scriptures and your god is shared by the other Abrahamic faiths.

Do you ever actually ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” Surely a part of you knows the honest answer would be, “Not this.”

And your country, flaws and all, holds the ideal that all people are created equal. It remains a goal, not an achievement, partly because of you and your kind, who deny the shared humanity of anyone who’s not just like you.

Luckily, not many people are.

What goes on in that dysfunctional mass of cells between your ears? Do you think promulgating hate will enlist people to your “cause”? Do you hold the irrational belief that something positive could possibly grow from the manure you spread?

What do you think you stand to gain from your hatefulness? If you truly love the United States, why aren’t you trying to solve some of its problems? Falsely blaming them on scapegoats fixes nothing and hinders the efforts of real patriots who put country above selfish personal interests.

The answer is that you have nothing positive to offer. That you are so intellectually and emotionally stunted that hurting others feeds something ugly in you, and it’s your only companion.

How sad.

Before anyone starts waving the First Amendment around, rest assured we’re aware of what it says. We don’t have thought police here, and thinking even repulsive thoughts isn’t a crime.

Acting on them is, however.

No one is required to tolerate your lies and prejudice, or to give you a platform to spread them — not their yards, their schools, their houses of worship, their government facilities or the public airwaves.

Still, the only person who can silence you is you.

It’s probably pointless to hope you have the capacity for true introspection, but we will leave you with the question posed by attorney Joseph Welch to Sen. Joe McCarthy that was the undoing of that stain on U.S. history: “Have you no sense of decency? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

If you don’t, then we repeat: You are not welcome here.

 Image Credits: Sun Coast Media Group