I was watching a documentary recently about the rise of Nazism in Germany. There was one clip of Hitler addressing the crowds. He was telling them about what he thought the real enemies of Germany were. They were the Jews, the immigrants, those who did not fit in with the ideal of the master race. And you could see the crowds taking it all in. The crowds were made up of many who had suffered since the end of the First World War. They were people who had lost their jobs. People who had lost much when Germany had lost the last big war. They were a people who were looking for someone to blame. And here, in the person of Hitler, was someone who was giving them permission to blame others. You could see the anger and hate in their eyes grow as Hitler spoke.
I recently looked at pictures of the civil rights movement in the United States. One was a picture of Autherine Lucy Foster. She was a black student who wanted to attend the University of Alabama. They year was 1956. Black students were not allowed to go to the school, but Autherine had good grades and was accepted into the college. The day after she arrived, hundreds of angry protestors were there to greet her. There is a picture of Autherine carrying books trying to enter the school. In that picture, one white woman is seen yelling at the student. Anger and hate fill the protestors face. Change the protestor's clothes and hairstyle and you could easily place her in Nazi Germany listening to one of Hitler's rallies.
I can't fathom feeling that angry in dealing with someone who is different. I am sure I use scapegoats as much as anyone else. However, I know that the other is a person as well. Whether they are black, white, yellow or plaid, they are still a person. Whether someone thinks almost like I do, or hold views that I find abhorrent, they are still a person. Differences amongst people are always going to be there. Differences are not the problem. It is our reactions to those differences that cause problems. Violence and threats of violence must never be the answer. Blessings.