Thursday, June 11, 2009

Face The Thing That Should Not Be

"This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms.”
-President Barack Obama

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC opened in April 1993 to protests from extremists and Holocaust deniers. In 2002 two white supremacists plotted to blow up the museum with a bomb like the one used to destroy the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. The assault on Wednesday and the 2002 plot were not only attacks on Jewish Americans and the Holocaust, but upon the countless school children of every nationality, race, ethnicity and religion who visit the museum at the end of their school year.

All too often in hate crimes perpetrated en masse, like Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur or hate crimes committed by members of extremist groups throughout the world have proven the adage “never again” incorrect. The promulgation of fear, stereotypes and hatred have given some the impetus to resort to violent acts against imagined enemies.

A month before the attack on the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report that warned that domestic right-wing extremism was the most pressing domestic terrorist threat that the country faced.

Hate is extraordinarily difficult and dangerous to overcome, but peace cannot be maintained without first addressing alienation, discontent and intolerance.

Teaching with the Constitution
Remind your students to highlight and click on the text of the Constitution to read Linda Monk's commentary.

Ask your students how the Constitution allows us to address grievances without resorting to violence.

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