Hate Seeping Through

Mary Okkema, News co-editor

American society and politics have increasingly become polarized over the past few years. It seems that people have forgotten to listen to and respect others opinions. Democrats and Republicans are both struggling to find common ground and compromise. This political polarization is causing great tension and hate throughout the nation. Different groups are so caught up in their own agendas and beliefs that hate is slipping through the cracks.

An example of this hate is Arthur Jones, a neo-Nazi who ran against Dan Lipinski for a seat in Congress in the district many of us live in. Jones is a known Holocaust denier. His website states that, “This idea that six million Jews were killed by the National Socialist government of Germany, in World War II, is the biggest, blackest lie in history.” Jones has spent his life preaching hate. Somehow, our communities have let him slip through the cracks. In the past midterm election on Nov. 6, he received 56,000 votes. This is appalling.

For some reason, the absurd number of votes he received is not being talked about. He received over 25 percent of the vote. There is no reasonable explanation for this. I do not care if people just voted straight Republican on the ballot without knowing what Jones preached, or if they just did not want to vote for Lipinski. There were alternative options, such as writing in the two other Republican candidates.

If you are not concerned, you should be; it does not matter that Jones lost. What matters is that we gave him a soap box to preach his hate on and then encouraged the hate to spread by giving him 56,000 votes. Whether you are Republican, Democrat or moderate, we are human and we all know the atrocities that come from hate.

By allowing hate to spread we affect the future in a negative way. Within the past year hate crimes have increased by 17 percent, according to a report released by the FBI. The hate crimes across the country are being brushed under the rug without much discussion. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was the deadliest attack on Jews in the United States. Recent local anti-semitic incidents took place at Oak Park River Forest High School, where hate-speech graffiti was found on different parts of the campus. A student also AirDropped a swastika to other students phones during an assembly on Nov. 7, according to the Chicago Tribune. The first thing that should should be on everyone’s agenda is stopping these attacks and patching this hate-torn country.

Something that seems so basic might need to be refreshed. We are all humans made of bone and flesh. Hates pits us against one another when we should really be compromising and working together to make life better. I know change and differences terrify us. We are not familiar with other cultures and tend to have the predisposition that what we are used to doing is right, but that is not always the case. I am not saying that you need to agree and compromise on everything because we all know that is impossible. However, we need to be respectful of one another because no matter how different we are culturally, politically, religiously, or in general, there are things we can improve on and learn from others, so we need to listen.

Humanity needs to take a deep breath and listen because at the end of the day we are here trying to be the best we can be. We can not let hate get in the way because hate brings destruction and no one should want that.