In the span of a week, our national consciousness has been altered with two particularly troubling and inevitably related events. We heard of Cesar Sayoc sending bombs in the mail to prominent politicians and journalists, and more recently, were wrecked with the news of a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh killing 11 people.
In reaction to the Monday morning news, President Trump tweeted:
There is great anger in our country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!
The president is wrong. What do these attacks have in common? Hate: It’s the new (or rather quite old) trend plaguing our country.
The Anti-Defamation League has said that the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in this country’s history.
Earlier this year, swastikas were drawn on a board outside two female dorms during the same week as Holocaust Remembrance Day, and a study from the California State University, San Bernadino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that the percentage of hate crimes has jumped for the fourth straight year.
It is no coincidence that these acts come at a time where our country is politically divided.
Though our president is sure that the “fraudulent media” is to blame, his anti-press rhetoric (which we wrote about a few months ago) is not only inaccurate at this moment, but also hurtful.
It can’t be denied that many of these perpetrators share far-right ideologies that often end up falling in line with Trump’s rhetoric. His divisive policies share some of the blame in the rise of hate and hostility seen in our country as of late.
It is irresponsible of him to not realize that his words can have a rallying impact on people, an impact that has proved to be frightening and deadly to many minorities in this country.
Hate has always been an ingredient in the making of this country. Perpetrators of these attacks are undeniably responsible for their actions, and no matter how much we investigate, we will never know why their hearts are filled with so much hatred. So how do we combat all this hate in a time we’re supposed to be progressing?
It’s not easy. We can only say so much. But what we say should be good. In one week, we’ve seen so much violence and hate that our words need to matter now. Make sure you’re speaking up by voting and by reaching out to those affected in your life and around you.
Tragedy and hate seem to be all we ever see nowadays; don’t let it envelop you this week.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.