Coercing nation to hate their neighbors is tyranny
The El Paso shooter posted his manifesto which contained racist and anti-immigrant hatred. This delighted many on the political left, especially some of those running for president, as it proved to their base that right-wing ideology is driving the hatred in our nation.
The Dayton shooter posted his beliefs on social media which contained “extreme left-wing and anti-police posts as well as posts supporting Antifa...” (CNN). This delighted many on the political right as it proved to their base that left-wing ideology is driving the hatred in our nation.
Do you see the problem here? Politicians on one side are feverishly trying to convince us that the other side is the “problem” and that voting them into office will stem the tide of hatred. I think it’s time we called BS on the lot of them and take back control of our souls.
President Trump can say nothing that will compel me to hate anyone. Not a single Democratic presidential hopeful is saying anything that inspires me to love (give Marianne Williamson credit for trying, though). If I hate, that’s on me; but politicians seem bent on coercing the nation to hate their neighbors so the party can gain power. It is THAT tyranny against which I stand.
Sadly, Martin Luther King’s legacy of peace has been rejected, but I think this quote of his speaks more power than anything that comes out of the mouth of any current politician:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
We must demand moral leadership from elected officials
The lessons of history prove that evil in a country thrives and multiplies when people with a sense of decency say nothing. Like most of us, when I was young my parents taught me that words have consequences. They stressed that words said in the heat of anger might be forgiven after a heartfelt apology but words used deliberately to hurt, denigrate, or demonize another person or group could be largely beyond redemption.
Increasingly we see the news dominated by stories related to hate speech and the inevitable horrific results. The white nationalist who murdered innocents in El Paso and the murderer in Dayton are the latest examples. The overwhelming majority in this country are decent people who love and help their neighbors, want the best for their children, take care of elderly parents, believe in the values of this country, and teach their children to treat those different from them with respect and understanding.
But we are seeing an insidious trend by some to stereotype whole groups of people with labels which dehumanize and make it easier for those prone to hate and violence to carry out despicable acts. It is easy to say we are better than this, but we as citizens of this great country have to stand up and prove it! This means we must demand the leaders we elect embody and bring out the best in us and, in Lincoln’s eloquent and immortal words, appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”
Let’s position CMU to be part of ‘cleantech’ collaboration
It was great to read new University of Colorado president Mark Kennedy’s op-ed on the mutually beneficial relationship between CU and Colorado Mesa University. The fact that he is visiting and meeting here twice in one summer is awesome.
Mr. Kennedy expressed understanding of how our natural beauty, abundant resources, and sense of community is intertwined with the role of the university to enhance job preparedness and prosperity. Engineering was highlighted along with health care. Apropos to our chronic drought challenges, programs for water supply and quality were explained, specifically mentioning the CU Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science. Thank you, Mr. Kennedy, for listening, understanding, and showing up!
I’d like to point out an untapped area of collaboration that would blend well with what Mr. Kennedy already described: the Clean Energy Research Collaboratory (CERC) that CSU, CU, and School of Mines are very active in, but CMU to date has not joined. (http://www.coloradocollaboratory.org.) The research, education, and economic development work of this “collaboratory” is extensive and fruitful. Joining these other major Colorado universities in CERC would afford timely opportunities for CMU and our community to benefit greatly in the up and coming “cleantech” industry, and help ensure that we don’t fall behind in this important piece of the economic puzzle.
Perhaps discussion is already underway for CMU to join CERC but has not been publicized. In any case, I’m hoping that Mr. Kennedy and CMU leaders consider CMU’s involvement in CERC. This seems like a great fit for our expanding university and could really help western Colorado prosper as the need for research, education, and jobs in the cleantech industry continues to grow.