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Hatred doesn't require thought

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POSTED: July 10, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Racists have targeted Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts since he published a column that explores the news reporting of black on white crime and vice versa.
In his article, Pitts critiqued the protests of those in the white community who complained the media directs too much attention to white-on-black crime, and not nearly enough toward black-on-white crime.
Following the critique, a white supremacist group put Pitts’ contact information (including his home phone number and street address) on their Web site, and the group has encouraged people to harass him and his family.
This troubles me because besides being a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Pitts was also a professor of mine at Ohio University.
I very much enjoyed his column-writing class. In our assigned writings, he challenged us to be logical, reasonable, and most importantly, knowledgeable. He polished our ability to spur debate, he refined our methods on protecting our arguments and he reminded us to be prudent.
USA Today reported the intensity of Pitts’ hate email has surged. He’s received dozens of menacing phone calls and people have even passed out pamphlets in his neighborhood to perpetuate more harassment. Yet, when asked for comment, Pitts replied, “This is life. You live it until you stop living..It’s an unwelcome part of what I have to deal with, but I can’t let it stop me..."
With that being said, I am reminded of how much I dislike racists. I wish it were logically feasible to hate racists, but hating people who hate people does not seem very practical.
When people adhere to racist notions, they become no different than robots. They slurp up all the propaganda, and reject the pragmatic logic that could bring them back to the land of the living.
Frankly though, it’s easier to hate; it doesn’t require much thought.
In the past 100 years, people have collectively praised the human race for its progressive advancement, but the world seems no better off than it was 1,000 years ago. We have improved our health, longevity and overall knowledge, yet all the social problems among different groups, races and religious organizations still linger in one form or another. Despite all our progression, we’ve glossed over what’s most important — rationality.
Even though Pitts is enduring this backlash, I know he does not hate these aggressors, and thank God for that.
 

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