Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
That they hadn’t forgiven Rodney King for “harming” them after his arrest should not be a surprise. They reacted with emotion. They reacted with adrenalin. And they acted in a way that, in their eyes, allowed them to protect and serve the public.
So in a very real sense, the first source of hate in this particular play is Rodney King.
We could analyze this more deeply by considering his upbringing and driving training, but in this case it would be mostly irrelevant.
We could also try to re-evaluate society’s attitudes towards late-night drinking and speeding, but that is also mostly irrelevant.
What is relevant here is that the true source of hate had been overshadowed by what happened afterwards. As a result, rapidly escalating events caused every party in this play to become both source and target, depending on the perception of the observer.
All from a simple traffic stop.
Now let’s look at a far more complicated issue where hate often rears its ugly head: abortion in the USA. One of the more infamous actors in this area is Eric Rudolph. From 1996 to 1998 in Atlanta, George, he bombed the Olympic Park, two abortion clinics, and a lesbian bar.
Result: two people dead, 120 injured. ((Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rudolph))
No doubt he is mentally troubled and may fit the same mold as our Bible study group killer. However, for our purposes here, he is also a good example of how direct confrontation becomes very complex and is not a good response to hate.
Consider his background. He lost his father at a young age. His mother moved the family shortly afterward. He struggled in school, but eventually earned a high school equivalency certificate. Afterward, he joined the army but was discharged for marijuana use.
The most noteworthy part of his past, the one that sheds the most light on the ultimate source of hate here, occurred when he was 18. That’s when he and his mother spent time at a Christian identity compound, the Church of Israel, which the Anti-Defamation League includes in its list of extremist groups. ((Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Israel))
Eleven years later, at 29, he began his career as a bomber.
It’s possible his time at Church of Israel influenced his ideas about right and wrong, especially with respect to abortion and homosexuality.
After living on the run for six years as a prime suspect in the bombings, he was finally arrested in 2003 and later convicted. Now, he writes from prison, justifying his actions.
As soldiers in the war on hate, it’s instructive for us to look at his deeds and their impact more closely.
First, he continues to foment hate through his writings. He firmly believes that abortions are wrong, and that violence is an acceptable way to try to stop them.
Society has put him away for four consecutive life sentences for the bombings. Yet he continues propagating hate, and through his writings may well be influencing other radical people to continue his work.
Should we take away his right to free speech to prevent him from influencing others to kill innocent people? Should he be allowed to spew hate from prison?
To be continued …