Opinion | Susan Knopf: Can we stop the hate? | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Can we stop the hate?

Where is all of the hate coming from?

I’ve experienced it in this column.

Instead of responding to facts or opinions in the column, a cadre of folks prefer to attack me personally and accuse me of spreading hate.

When this happens, I generally refer the column to someone, like a religious leader, for their opinion. No one has ever told me the column was hateful. They tell me the column is strong and provocative. They tell me that sometimes folks who disagree will project their anger, their hate onto the writer.

Hate is infecting everything. We all need to take a stand. Guard our ears. Guard our eyes.

Hate crimes are up for five years now. The FBI reported a 17% spike in hate crimes in 2017, then the third year in a row hate crimes had increased, according to The Associated Press. For the record, in 2018 and 2019, hate crimes continued at the same high level.

Hate crimes are underreported, so the numbers are worse than we know. Javier Pineda of Mountain Dreamers told me the police were called when a white man in his 50s began yelling anti-Semitic slurs at a Latina working at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s Thrift and Treasure shop in Dillon. The man was charged with harassment, bias-motivated crime and disorderly conduct. Who expects to go to work and to be treated this way?

Dr. Seuss wrote the book “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” The last page reads, “Think left and think right, think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think if only you try.”

The hate you think becomes the hate you do and say. If you think about where you are getting your information, you might be able to figure out how you came to feel this way.

You might have noticed the Summit Daily News stopped online reader responses because, according to the editor, it was “getting out of control.“

When people attack our Capitol and continue to insist a legal and fair election was stolen, things are officially out of control. How did we get here?

Rudy Giuliani is being sued by Dominion because he made more than 50 false statements about the company’s voting machines. Giuliani’s response: “It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech …“

I wouldn’t expect Giuliani to admit he’s been lying, and those lies hurt Dominion’s business. His deflection to the “hate-filled left“ and the attack on free speech is indicative a larger propaganda campaign.

Free speech isn’t free. You can’t say anything anywhere. You are entitled to your opinion. The Bible prohibits bearing false witness. The law forbids harming someone’s business with lies. That’s not free speech.

We are coming to a slow and painful reckoning. The people who accuse others of hate are the ones promulgating the hate. I’ve been listening to Fox News. It’s not news. It’s also not a right-wing version of CNN. It’s something else. It’s hateful propaganda that is brainwashing a scary-large minority of the country. They think they are the majority. They think they won the election.

Bad news. Republicans are losing their party. More than 4,000 Colorado Republicans have changed parties, according to a report by 9News. Sixty-two people like the false vitriol they’re hearing and joined the Republican Party.

Hate is not a political affiliation. Lying is unsustainable. I’m not sure why smart folks like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul think they can get away with it. More than 60 courts already have told us the elections were correct. Donald Trump and the Republicans literally showed no evidence of election treachery in more than 60 cases.

At the end of the day, this is going to look like Chapter 2 of the McCarthy era or worse, the Civil War. Eventually, the majority of peace-loving, diverse Americans will win the day. They might not get to see Trump convicted for inciting an insurrection, but they will see the culture of hate overturned. Hate is un-American, even though it has continued perniciously since the dawn of our country.

The Beatles got it right: “All you need is love.“

Susan Knopf’s column “For The Record” publishes Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at sdnknopf@gmail.com.


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