Stop the Hate

Image from ABC.

Yesterday I read an LA Times article that reported the increase in hate crimes in LA County. One of the quotes was from County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl who blamed the increased attacks on Trump and his use of divisive rhetoric. There is no doubt that Trump has unleashed a lot of pent up white, cis hatred. The KKK has active groups throughout the county next door, especially in the city I live in, and they have been getting more “outspoken.”

I had to ask myself, however, “Is this all Trump?” I mean, I grew up in this country and most of my life I have know an incredible amount of violence and hatred. It seems to me that Trump is only a small portion of the problem. He is but an open manifestation of the real disease in the United States.

The truth is that we are a cruel and violent country. We always have been. You can look up the history yourself, because it’s really time you did, but for now, take into account that we have 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population. That actually says very little about the crime rate in the US. It says far more about the fact that we love to punish people. We spend more money per capita on police and prison than we do on social services to keep people out of prison. If the people are already suffering, then we really enjoy making it worse.

Take, for example, that LA City Council is trying to make it illegal to “camp” in areas that have homeless shelters. Right now, in the midst of the pandemic, the city is doing sweeps to “clean up the sidewalks.” The police show up with garbage trucks and steal the tents and bikes and property of homeless people who might not be present. The sanitation workers throw them in the trucks. (If you want more information about this and other atrocities LA and other so-called Liberal cities are fond of, go to Street Watch LA.)

I suppose the city believes it is doing it’s Christian duty, following Christ’s words, “From him who has not, even what he has will be taken.” (It’s Sunday, there’s your church.)

A 12 year old boy (I’m assuming he’s not the only one) was threatened with arrest because he’s missed 90 minutes of Zoom meetings this year. The principal said she was justified in sending a letter to the parents because that is the law of California. The law does not ask what it can do to help a child who has been truant. It does not advise the school to check in with the family and see what they might need. The law does not mandate compassion, only punishment.

California inflicts cruelty on those who are already cast out by society and those who are already struggling. The police are used to intimidate people who know they have no power and no voice, and, to be frank, that’s all of us who have no large amount of money. If you think you are somehow exempt because you are white and own your own home, you are woefully ignorant. Try losing your job and not paying your house payment, then see just how much those in authority take care of you.

Los Angeles City Council and State Assembly, tell me again how terrible these hate crimes are. Tell me how you are so shocked and how this all must be Trump’s fault. I hate Trump far more than people in elected authority do, but it is only the most foolish of wishes that getting him out of office is going to change things when state laws and city ordinances that have been on the books long before the 2016 election treat the most vulnerable citizens with contempt.

People hate because our society says it is acceptable. Oh, we talk in flowery, tolerant language that makes our liberal sensibilities comfortable. In all of our laws, though, hate is embedded. We make more hateful laws because we hate, and that further drives our hate.

Until the State is willing to stop the hate and contempt it shows for the people in the laws that put property above humanity and the rich above the poor and the “white” above everyone else, we will continue to have hate crimes. It won’t matter if we have some so-called Blue Wave next month and Trump, for some reason, doesn’t react to loss like a cornered rabid dog. Hate will continue because that is what our society is built on.