Halting Hate

On Saturday morning around 10:00 AM, the Tree of Life synagogue located in Pittsburgh, PA was attacked by Robert Bowers. After numerous exclamations about his hatred toward Jews via social media platforms, Bowers turned his words into action. 11 lives were tragically lost and many more were physically and emotionally affected as a result of this heartbreaking event. Officials have charged Bowers with 29 offenses, including murder and hate crimes, which could subject him to the death penalty. Bowers surrendered to authorities after declaring that, “All Jews must die!”

According to USA Today and CNN, this event is the deadliest attack on Jews in American history. Since 2016, our nation has seen a 60 percent spike in “anti-Semitic incidents,” and in 2017 there were around 2,000 incidents. The majority of this hate emanates from social media platforms and still negatively affects the Jewish community. Some Jewish Americans have stated that they have experienced anti-Semitic slander on a daily basis since the 2016 election, claiming this hateful ideology and hate crimes in general, are becoming normalized in America. The attack in Pittsburgh on Saturday has left citizens across the country in shock and on edge with the debate regarding gun control back in the forefront of people’s mind.

How do we stop the spreading of hate? Though not an easy endeavor, the first thing we can do is simply spread kindness and acceptance and speak out when someone expresses hate towards others. In a country founded upon ideals like freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, anti-Semitism and hate crimes alike cannot be tolerated.

 

Sources:

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/187306-181028-trump-world-l... https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/27/us/pittsburgh-synagogue-active-shooter/index.html , https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/10/28/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-anti-semitism-rise-america/1799933002/