Hate rising | Eastern North Carolina Now

Lib Campbell: Above
    The text from my friend came in around 8:30 Sunday morning. He reported that antisemitic flyers were distributed on all the driveways in his Quail Hollow neighborhood. He sent a picture of the flyer, filled with hate and disinformation about Jews. As disgusting as this propaganda is, it is not the first time this has happened, nor is it the first group it has happened to.

    There were several neighborhoods targeted in Raleigh. North Ridge, an upscale community in North Raleigh, was one of them. WRAL reports there is a large Jewish presence there because it is in walking distance of a synagogue. Synagogue goers are frequent targets.

    Hate crimes against Jews, Blacks, LGBTQ, immigrants and women are on the rise. Why, we ask? Could one possibility be the current spin on free speech that implies anybody can say anything they want to whomever they want, at any time they want, by any means they choose. Spreading hate, lies, bullying and threats are not what I call free speech. It's dangerous and ugly speech that hurts. We see elected leaders, those who have held office, those who want to regain their office, and those serving now leading the way into toxic hate. They bring people along, their lawyers and surrogates from the state house to the White House who will never say the emperor has no clothes.

    The group claiming responsibility for the blanket of hate in Raleigh is the Goyin Defense Fund. If you google their web site, they do not mince words about their mission: "Working to expel Jews from America." The Southern Poverty Law Center placed the Goyin group on their growing list of hate groups, along-side the KKK. Must make their mamas proud.

    Hate spreads like cancer until it eats up a soul or destroys a republic. Grievance is a sad burden to carry. Grievance begets hate; hate begets harm. This how the world is turning now. As much external foreign threat as there is around the world, the internal domestic threat of hate and violence is terrifying. Antisemitic flyers on driveways are the tip of the iceberg. If the police are lucky, someone may have a Ring doorbell with video that captured a face or a license plate number.

    When a mission is to expel whole swaths of people from America, we all have a problem. Disenfranchisement of groups who are not white, heterosexual, Christian men is happening all around us. There was a time when America celebrated being the Melting Pot. Immigrants were welcomed for the gifts and diversities they brought. Gay people who were relegated to the "don't ask, don't tell" era contributed their broad gifts without threat of harm. It seems that being able to be authentic and transparent in the world is just too much for some people to accept.

    If rejection were the only hurt, we might be able to bear it. But threats and hate, berating and shaming cut deep. We are not a homogenized people. We are a fabric of many colors and many designs. The contributions of Jewish immigrants who came to America are huge. We would not be who we are as a nation without them or any of the other targeted groups.

    I don't know who can or will fix this. People are suspicious of law enforcement and skeptical of our judicial system and Department of Justice. Most of us are totally fed up with the antics of our congress. I think the only ones left to fix the hate problem we are drowning in is you and me. Let us not be afraid; goodness always wins. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Carry a sign. Vote every time the polls open. That's always a good first step.

    Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader and hosts the website: avirtualchurch.com. She welcomes comments at libcam05@gmail.com.
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