- Posted October 12, 2008 by
Los Alamos, New Mexico
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Spread Love, not Hate!
Spread love, tolerance, and hope, not hate, intolerance, and fear.
I can see frustration, fear, and hate building in the USA. It is visible in some of the posts on the Internet, elsewhere in the media, and it is visible in the (usually peaceful) context of some political rallies. Others, sometimes well-meaning, are fueling the fire by baiting the haters.
I urge all Americans to say NO! to hate. Honor some of the great heroes of the US past: the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Bobbie Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the brave souls of Flight 93.
How could we do this in the present situation? Here are a few ideas. Perhaps you can come up with your own. Do not return hate for hate. That doesn't work; it only builds more hate. Discuss the issues honestly and civilly. Check your facts.
On the Internet or Radio: If you, yourself are tempted to incite or show hate, take a deep, deep breath, look inward, and think of a more peaceful and effective way of advocating what you want-- hate will not get it for you; if you believe in God, pray for peace and wisdom. If you see a post or hear a caller that spouts or incites hate, do not respond with the same. Perhaps, if you think it might help, you could post or call, separately, offering your own plea for restraint, or perhaps, on the Internet use the graphic above and/or a link to this post.
In a rally: If you find yourself near a hater or a pocket of haters, or if someone appears to be fomenting hatred, I urge you, and as many brave souls around you as will join in, to sing the song that, in history, has been a symbol of peaceful opposition to hatred: "We Shall Overcome". Keep singing until the expression of hatred ceases. Be completely non-violent. This will take some courage, perhaps a lot.
Assassination Attempt: Many have been avoiding talk of assassination, in hopes of keeping the evil idea out of people's thoughts. However, I believe this is no longer an option: the idea is out there, and some crazies are even shouting for it. The US has a sad record of having an occasional violent or terror-bent person trying to have his way by force. Here is where the heroes of Flight 93 need to be honored and emulated. If you are in a crowd, keep your eyes open for signs of violence. If you see someone with a gun, try to prevent its use: tackle him or her. Perhaps it would help to shout, "Gun!". Others around you might help subdue the potential shooter. This is dangerous, but it might avert a disaster.
Bomb: I don't have a really good idea how an individual could deal with a potential bomber. What to do depends on the circumstances and defense against this threat is iffy. Part of the defense is to not allow terror to influence your thought and actions any more than is necessary. Trust authorities and, if possible, help to detect such plots in advance. Usually, an actual attack has to be handled under the rules of engagement of the War on Terror. The government must provide all reasonable security for crowds of people. Vigilance and cooperation helps. If you see something or someone behaving suspiciously, inform security personnel.
I hope and pray that the US will rise to the challenges presented by evil in the world, and that we can avoid adding internal strife or violence to the already formidable list of problems to be addressed. I dare to hope that we Americans will overcome.