Apr 142014
 
"Angel Heart" Drawing by BZTAT

Angel Heart Drawing by BZTAT

I understand anger. I understand fear. I understand mental and emotional distress that sometimes motivates hateful actions. I even understand suspicion and prejudice.

But I just don’t understand hate.

The kind of hate where a man wraps his entire life around hating a group of people who he does not even know, simply because they are from a culture that he has been taught to despise. The kind of hate that motivates a man like Frazier Glenn Miller.

Frazier Glenn Miller is the alleged shooter who went on a rampage yesterday and killed 3 people in Overland Park, KS in the parking lots of two Jewish facilities. When arrested, Miller proudly yelled anti-Semitic utterances in full view of a near-by TV news camera.

He is considered the “alleged” shooter, as he has not yet been convicted of the crime. But his long history of hate towards Jewish people has been well documented, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Not only has this 73-year old man  expressed his hatred in many forms throughout his life, he has mobilized others to do the same. Through “leadership” in the Klu Klux Klan and his creation of militia groups, he has motivated countless others to engage in hate activities towards innocent people.

I am not Jewish myself. But this man’s hate hurts me deeply. My good friend who lives in Leawood, KS is a frequent attendee at the very Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City where his life of hatred culminated in murder yesterday. Thankfully, she was home yesterday. preparing for Passover. But her world is shaken. The place that once represented community and joy and fellowship for her now is shattered by hate.

It also hurts me to know that my friend, who has helped me to understand the beauty of Jewish culture, is hated so violently by people who never have, and never will know her.

I will never understand that kind of hate, and truthfully, I do not want to.

I do, however, want to understand the kind of love and passion that drives people to continue their faith and traditions despite the presence of people who have built their lives around hating them. It is that kind of love that makes our world a compassionate and enriched worldwide community.

We come from different traditions and beliefs, but love is love. I thank my friend for reminding me of that. I pray for her healing, the healing of those who lost loved ones, the healing of the entire Jewish community, and the healing of our worldwide community.

May we all find a way to respond to hate in a way that does not allow it to take us in its grip in the way that it did this man.

 Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

  8 Responses to “I just don’t understand hate.”

  1. I could not agree with you more.. lovely post.

  2. My best friend is Jewish. She’s the sister I never had and her family is part of my family. I don’t understand how people can hate like they do.

    Just saw on the news that the people killed weren’t even Jewish. SMH.

    • The irony that this guy set out to kill Jews and ended up killing Christians is heart wrenching. There is no sense in hate, and killing anyone in its wake has no value in our world. 🙁

  3. Hi Vicki, I was showing you website to a friend, and we went to your blog and I read your article. I feel for your friend from that Jewish Center, and I am so glad she wasn’t there. This kind of hate has to be all-consuming and this man the most miserable of people. The Jews have always been targeted by this kind of unreasonable, insane hatred. Your article was a memorial to love. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comments, Becky, and for reminding me that there are more good, loving people in this world than there are hateful ones. The hateful ones just make more noise.

  4. Thank you for this beautifully written post. Had he decided to come one week earlier – last Sunday at that very time – it well could have been my husband and me that he gunned down.

    Such hate is senseless and cannot be understood. Our community will need time to heal and to mourn, but there is no better time than this holiday – Pesach – in which to do so.

    Passover is a festival of community: we pour wine for our neighbors near us, we collectively say the blessing over the matzah, and each one of us takes turns reading the Haggadah – the retelling of the story of the Exodus – together. And while we collectively celebrate, we also will be collectively mourning and healing.

    And this Friday, our community will hold a Shabbat service at the Jewish Community Center to remember those most affected by this tragedy. We will walk the path with candles lit – from the JCC to Village Shalom to the elementary school – to honor those lost to us, and the families who grieve.

    • I am so glad, Lisa, that he did not arrive when you were there. I wish that I could say that to the families who lost so much, as well.

      Although we are from different faiths, we are all one community. I will raise a glass this Friday with you from afar, and I will light a candle – in remembrance, and in celebration of the grace and beauty that you and your community bring to our world.

      Shalom.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.