Hate Has No Place In The United States

Following the attack by Hamas on Israeli settlements outside the Gaza Strip in Israeli territory on October 7, there has been an increase in anti Semitism around the world and even in the United States. This country was founded by people escaping religious persecution in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, that document established the reasons for independence from Great Britain enshrined the ideals of freedom from tyranny.

Several years later after the constitution was written that established the form of our government, Thomas Jefferson wrote ten amendments to that constitution that formally established the freedoms from the Declaration of Independence into the constitution. Those ten amendments are what we now call the Bill of Rights. Jefferson was moved to codify individual freedoms in the constitution after witnessing how the French Revolution had gotten out of hand and individual rights were threatened by the government that took over following the overthrow of the king.

The first of those ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights stated that there should be no establishment of any official religion. It guaranteed freedom of religion and worship in our constitution. Since those ten amendments were adopted into the constitution in 1791, millions have come to this country to be allowed to practice their faith as they saw fit. That includes millions of Jews who came to the United States to escape persecution in Europe.

At his concerts, Neil Diamond introduced his song “America” by telling the story of his grandmother, who at age 13, walked 1200 miles from inside Russia to the port city of Hamburg Germany to board a ship to the United States. She eventually settled in Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn where she grew up, raised a family, and saw her grandson become a star.

I am old enough to have seen civil rights workers who were helping Blacks register to vote in Mississippi murdered by police who were members of the Ku Klux Klan. Then after the people accused of committing this crime were acquitted by an all-white jury, the injustice of all this was on full display. I also remember when many Black and some white people, wearing their Sunday best clothing after church were beaten by police while peacefully marching from Selma to Montgomery Alabama for the right to vote.

Now there is a former President running again for the presidency who is making comments in the media using language straight from Adolph Hitler. In a recent comment he referred to “vermin poisoning our blood” in reference to immigrants. The sad thing about this is many Americans want him to become President again. When he first began his presidential campaign more than eight years ago, he made comments about immigrants bringing disease and crime into the United States.

The Second World War ended before I was born, but I grew up on the stories from that war and I saw the horrors of Nazi Germany on television and learned about it in school and from what my parents told me about that time. There is a well-written saying that evil thrives when good people do nothing. Now, I am seeing a growth in hate toward others, not because of the color of their skin, but about their political beliefs.

Let’s say this, Hamas is a terrorist organization that built a network of tunnels under civilian habitats and established their command center beneath a hospital. They were using civilians as human shields. The terrorists that crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York and the Pentagon while crashing another airplane in a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 had no respect for human life. Their targets were civilian targets designed only to kill as many people as possible.

Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaida and Hamas show no mercy to innocent civilians. They attack civilians because they are cowards and wouldn’t stand a chance of going up against well trained and highly disciplined military troops armed with powerful weapons. In any war, there are civilian casualties. But only cowards attack civilian targets.

Terrorism is fueled by hate. It feeds on hatred toward another group of people, any group. To them, human life, even their own, doesn’t matter. This is what hate can do. It can lead to mass murder and when it becomes part of the State, it leads to genocide.

For a nation founded on the principles of individual freedom and tolerance, there is no place for hate in the United States, anywhere, any place, any time. Anti Semitism is nothing but hate, period. There is no defense for hate or terrorism, whether it is suicide bombers in the middle east or a disgruntled young man who blows up a government building in Oklahoma City killing 168 civilians, including several children.

For a former President using words and phrases from Adolph Hitler, that is inexcusable and should disqualify that man from ever holding any elected office ever again in the United States, especially as President.

Lee Kamps

Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 2:00 PM, 01.01.2024