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April 16, 2014

In Our Opinion: Ending hate must begin with kids

The Daily Star

---- — Hate.

Irrational, senseless, diabolical and — so sadly as we have seen in recent days — sometimes-deadly.

There is no anti-venom for the poison resulting from this serpent’s bite except perhaps educating the next generation about the folly of the current and previous ones. But make no mistake about it, hate is a powerful foe, as seductive as it is cunning.

On Sunday, a 73-year-old white supremacist named Frazier Glenn Cross got a shotgun and thought he would go out and kill some Jews in Overland, Kan., near Kansas City.

Cross, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, founded and led the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party. The SPLC once successfully sued Cross “for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and using intimidation tactics against African Americans.”

“I hate all Jews,” Cross — who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Miller — said in a radio interview. He has advocated “exterminating” Jews, and Sunday, the day before the beginning of the Passover holiday, he aimed to start the process.

Cross is in prison now, charged with murder for shooting to death a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center, and a woman at a Jewish assisted-living facility.

“Heil Hitler!” shouted Cross in a police car after he was taken into custody.

Probably to this human excrement’s regret, none of his three victims turned out to be Jewish.

High school freshman Reat Griffin Underwood was with his physician grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, when they were shot in their car. The boy was to audition for singing competition. Terri LaManno was on a regular visit to her mother at the Village Shalom facility.

They weren’t Jewish, but nevertheless are victims of hate, the same as the millions slain by Cross’ idol, Adolf Hitler. 

On Monday morning, a horrific rush hour bomb killed at least 71 people and wounded 124 at a Nigerian bus station. It was apparently set off by Islamist militants who cared nothing about the innocence of their victims — victims of hate.

On the 40th anniversary of the day when he broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record, Hank Aaron expressed his view that racism is virtually as bad now as it was when he received death threats in 1974. USA TODAY reported that vile emails and letters have flooded the Atlanta Braves offices this week.

“My old man instilled in my mind from a young age,” read one email, “the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).”

We are overall a good and kind and just society. But we obviously have a long way to go. It begins when a kid’s “old man” doesn’t teach him how to hate.