It isn’t surprising that a group that shares the same ideology as the Charleston mass murderer agrees with his grievances. They are as full of hate as he is.
Equally as unsurprising is that there are groups dedicated to spreading hatred for others who are different from them. Such groups have existed for centuries and have varied in size and impact. In the US, thankfully, such groups have remained relatively ineffective in their efforts other than to gather people of the same ideology. Others, like the old Weather Underground, experienced marginal success, detonating a bomb inside the NYPD. Still others, like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, made a huge impact at their inception and today have some adherents that talk about the good ol’ days.
Some deadly. All hateful.
The Southern Policy Law Center has a list of over 700 groups classified as domestic hate groups (and many of not most actually are). Bernie Sanders cited the list from the Senate floor in support of his claim that right-wing racist groups have increased and indicated that it is a sign of “how far we yet have to go in order to create a nonracist society.””
Hate should be decried and condemned at every turn. Absent the commission of a crime, however, hatred is only the absence of virtue. And if our society doesn’t work on uplifting decency and enlivening common virtues, then there won’t be any moral ground on which to condemn hate.
Sure, we can play the game of who’s hate is worse relative to someone else’s hate. It’s pretty common to hear individuals say, “I know I’m bad about (fill in the blank), but so-and-so is much worse than I am.” No political or ideological group would concede such a point because each and every one of them has their own predetermined, single solution to problems for which there are no single, simple solutions. And each shouts its own solution at the top of its lungs in an endless echo chamber.
You can’t lie and expect truth to win the day.
You can’t build a bullying culture and expect to end bullying in schools.
You can’t cry out for peace while rioting.
You can’t expect equality when you excoriate people who have different views from you.
Relativism and moral equivalence are cancers on our society, as fewer and fewer people acknowledge any shred of absolute truth (truth which I believe is found in the Bible).
If you’re like me, you pay attention to what is being said in the wake of tragedies like the Charleston mass murder, and you start to find the commentary maddening via circular logic, abundant strawmen, distractions and distortions. That’s because all you’re seeing is Fido chasing his tail. The only way to rise above is to get above the fray and hold on to enduring truths that espouse moral decency and virtues.
H/T to @redsteeze for turning me on to the tweet and article at the beginning of the post. For a great post on the virtues that are causing the victims’ families and the community of Charleston to rise above the fray, read his post here: