Before the Holocaust, there was Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Nov. 9, 1938, one of the most horrifying moments in modern history. It was an attack on Jewish people throughout Germany that left synagogues on fire, Jewish businesses destroyed and more than 3,000 Jews dead.
The Nazi Party blamed the Jews for the terrible depression and poverty in Germany after World War I. This led to hatred, violence, war and ultimately genocide. Hatred is a divisive force that divides, but does not conquer. It defeats. Our nation is made up of many different groups. Sadly, some have hatred for another. Thankfully, it is a small minority.
It disturbs me to hear of harassment and vandalism toward those of Arab descent following the terrorism in New York and Washington. This is how the seeds of hatred and ultimately destruction came about in Nazi Germany.
We in this country are given the most sacred virtues of humanity and freedom, and it is our responsibility to make sure that every American citizen is allowed to practice these. Our fellow Arab citizens deserve to be respected alongside the rest of all other citizens.
I hope that the people of this great nation can rise above condemnation by association. Let us focus our anger and grief toward positive channels, not hatred for other citizens. That will divide us, and we will defeat ourselves.