Letter to the editor: Hate in America

Editor:

For as long as I can remember I have witnessed hate.  As a young person, experienced it. Hate against other human beings because of the color of their skin, because of their station in life, because they think differently from each other, or worship differently.- Mormons, Jews, Catholics, Muslims are all suspect. Right? Mosques and Synagogues have all been the scene of mass attacks and murders. We once hated the Japanese, the Germans, the Koreans, it’s endless. Much, or most of the time, hate has no rational explanation. Remember WWII?  it was the Japanese who formed the 442nd Infantry Regiment. It was almost entirely made up of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei). This regiment is the most decorated unit for its size in U.S. military history – it saved countless American lives and still we hated or hate them still. Really? Where is the logic? Hate has no rational explanation.

So here we are today with the most recent evidence of hate playing out in Atlanta where eight lost their lives – six Asian women, one Hispanic male and another white female. Recently news outlets are reporting hate crime against Asians on the rise. Many blame them for COVID 19.  It hasn’t been proven that the virus actually came from China because scientists are still not allowed by the Chinese government to inspect the lab in Wuhan. But let’s say it did come from there. The Chinese government, President Xi, may be responsible but he is not the Chinese people of China – or the enslaved Uighurs whom he calls terrorists. It is not the fault of our many Chinese Americans living right here in our country, nor the fault of our Japanese or Korean brethren – but somehow they all get lumped in together! Logical??? It is true that millions of Americans have seen their lives turned upside down – Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Jews, Muslims have all seen their businesses destroyed during COVID 19 restrictions.  Looters and rioters have gone wild destroying anything they could get their hands on, murdered, and in many cases gone unchecked all in the name of social justice. Portland seems to have lost its mind. Their mayor whom just months ago called for defunding the police is now asking for more police help.  Our once beautiful Seattle saw Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “Summer of Love” where again local businesses were burned, looted and lives were lost.  I wonder if Seattle will ever recover from this year.  On top of the financial losses suffered, many went without medical care and have died.  My daughter’s dear friend was denied medical attention because of COVID restrictions and when she was finally seen by a doctor many months later was diagnosed with cancer in five areas of her body. She is now in fourth stage metastatic cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer. She is 37 years of age. Do her parents and husband of four years have a right to be angry and upset? Yes, but they are not out destroying property, attacking or shooting others in the name of justice.

And let’s not forget our children. They have lost a year of education and vital socialization being without their classmates. Their parents have had to leave their jobs to stay home to care for and educate their children. The suicide rate among children has skyrocketed. This is incredibly tragic. So yes, there is a lot of anger felt among many. Looks like we need someone to blame.

What can we do?  We can choose to get up each day and spread a little kindness.  We can take personal responsibility for everything we do and say.  Yes, it can be as simple as that.  Smile, what does it cost you?  Open the door for a mother with a stroller and one on the way, for the elderly, or a disabled person. Thank a veteran for his service to our country. Freedom isn’t free. We are here having this conversation today largely because of their sacrifice. Be kind. We’ve all heard, or seen, what happens when a pebble in thrown into a pond. It causes a ripple effect. Let our kindness cause a ripple effect, let it be contagious in a good way. As individuals we can do much. By joining hands, we are even stronger.

Am I oversimplifying this state our country is in and what we can do as individuals to help?  You decide.

On our local level – Edmonds, I met Janelle Cass several months ago. I’m impressed with her as a person, as a business owner, and with her education and professional background. Janelle Cass is running for City Council, Position 2.  Janelle is for everyone. Talk with her. She is for restoring, protecting, and investing in everyone in Edmonds.

Theresa Campa Hutchison
Edmonds

  1. Thank you Theresa for posting this! Let’s all be good neighbors and look out for each other. I am looking forward to learning more about Janelle.

  2. Theresa, you nailed it. I am floored when people conflate criticizing China (the state) with being anti-Asian. This is centrally planned intellectual dishonesty. I might be giving it too much credit by calling it intellectual. China and the WHO are coordinated against the Asian people,
    https://youtu.be/UlCYFh8U2xM

  3. Yes Theresa, your description of what is going on throughout the world, is spot on. I also think that politics is the basis for trying to turn one group against the other, including ethnic, religious, and women against men. I will not support any candidate who views themselves as a victim. We are all in this together, the finger pointing puts three fingers pointing back at ourselves. I will only support someone running for a leadership position in our community who truly believes that we are ALL equal. Any candidates who are using hate and division by blaming “other” people as their platform for being elected will not get my vote. Janelle Cass is looking like the only candidate who is not running as a “victim”. Her unity and protection platform makes her the best candidate for City Council.

  4. Thank you Theresa for sharing this history and your perspective. When we as a culture can truly view others as human and appreciate the differences they bring to this world, that will be a day to mark and celebrate.

    I am in full support of these words, “We can choose to get up each day and spread a little kindness. We can take personal responsibility for everything we do and say.”

  5. Thank you Theresa for a thoughtful letter. It seems to me time to say that ALL lives matter and take down all the signs that target specific groups. There cannot be unity until we look in the mirror and realize we are individuals that are different and will no doubt be different in our thoughts based on backgrounds. Teach our children love, respect and not hatred.

  6. It is always interesting that people, as a whole, do not think about how lucky or unlucky they are to be born anywhere in the world. The bigger perspective would give us pause to contemplate our place in the world, and that no person is better or less than another.

  7. Interesting perspective Auntie T,

    “I have decided to stick to Love:
    Hate is too great a burden to bear”

    Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. Theresa, your letter was such a refreshing perspective during a time when we need to recognize that we all have “being human” in common. Unless we have walked in another person’s shoes we will never fully understand their journey and yet we can still show compassion, kindness and respect for our fellow traveler on this earthly journey.

  9. Amazing words Theresa. Unfortunately there will always be hate in the world that is practiced by a few that are ignorant and afraid of differences. God created us all equal and our society has lost some of its perspective. The teachings thousands of years ago have sometimes been forgotten throughout history.

    If you really want to talk about hate crimes, look at what has happened to the Jewish people for thousands of years and most recently in New York and Pittsburg. Or the genocides in Somalia, The Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Bosnia, etc. Hate is amongst us and always will be, but the good news is that it can be silenced with love and unity toward all people, not by standing on a corner holding a sign calling out a specific group. All of us matter and all of us are created equal in God’s eyes. Actions speak louder than words, so let’s start putting our words into actions and stop the divisiveness. Let’s practice what we preach and show genuine love to each other, because in the end that is what defines our true selves.

    The old adage still applies. Love thy neighbor as thyself. These 5 simple words say everything we need to know and do.

  10. Very well said Auntie T. I make a choice each day to be kind, to smile say please and thank you. It is simple but it goes a long way.

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