I pass the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh every day, on my way to and from work. Yesterday, a gun-wielding assailant entered the synagogue and murdered 11 participants in a Shabbat service, shattering the peace of the richly multiethnic community of Squirrel Hill. The killer had posted messages online expressing his hatred of Jews and immigrants. Here was the full horror of hate, in my own neighborhood.
There is a temptation to dismiss the seemingly endless hate crimes we have endured in recent times as the work of isolated psychopaths. But we all know this is a mistake, because we all know about the rising tide of hatred that underlies these acts. What can we do about it?