Hate sadly significant part of nation’s history

On July Fourth, we proudly celebrated our nation’s birthday, a day set aside to take pride in our country, rejoicing in the freedoms, rights and opportunities we all enjoy as American citizens, no matter who we are and what our station in life may be.
Not so. There are groups of Americans who historically have been mistreated in the past and some continue to suffer in various degrees as a result of a legacy of hate. Native Americans, 200 years after losing their ancestral lands to disease, violence and the European and American land grabs, still suffer extreme poverty, alcoholism, family violence and hate crimes living on mostly barren reservation land.
Relocation programs in the 1960s attracted many younger Native Americans from reservations and into urban centers for training, jobs, and health care. Approximately 50,000 Native Americans now live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, generally working at lower-paying jobs.
While living conditions off the reservation may be an improvement, most live at or near the poverty level and still experience discrimination and violence. According to the FBI, Native Americans have the second highest rate of race-based hate crimes.
Except for the Native Americans, no group of United States citizens has suffered more than have black Americans, who began life in America as slaves.
Among racial groups, blacks experience the most hate crimes and are more than five times as likely to be victims of hate crimes than any other racial group.
The Anti-Defamation League reported 941 anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. in 2015. While this is a slight increase over 2014, there has been a general decline since the high of 1,554 in 2006.
Disturbing, however, is the fact that the number of violent assaults against Jews reached 56, up from 36 in 2014, and 90 incidents of anti-Semitism were reported from 60 college campuses, compared to 47 on 43 campuses in 2014.
Hate crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender have been on the rise leading up to the recent tragic massacre in Orlando, Florida.
While hate crime figures often differ slightly from one agency to another, the fact that many hate crimes go unreported shows that the actual number of hate crimes is larger than statistics indicate. Also, these stats do not include the foul hatred expressed by many on the Internet.
What can we do to help make things right? Let’s not be afraid to bring these issues up for discussion: in our homes, in our schools, in our synagogues and temples.
Most importantly, we as individuals must speak up and confront the ignorance when we hear it, the injustice when we see it, and the lies when we read them.
Each of us is part of the solution.

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