Hate crime spike infecting Cape Region
An ugly spike of hatred and bigotry surfaced in Delaware’s Cape Region this week. A prominent Black voice in the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice awoke to find what appeared to be the word Trump burned into her lawn; a lawn where she had proudly displayed Black Lives Matter signs.
Making the effort to premeditate and execute the defacing of her lawn under cover of darkness is a criminal act reminiscent of cowardly Ku Klux Klan cross-burnings. The incident deserves no less than treatment as the targeted hate crime which it clearly is.
During the same time period, a popular local author and champion of LGTBQ causes found a recent virtual event she was hosting disrupted by anti-LGBTQ voices spewing poisonous venom.
A third incident involved a local man of great responsibility embarrassing himself and those associated with him, personally and professionally, by taking to social media to slur homosexuals.
Thousands of healthcare professionals, first responders, educators and business people are struggling to help our community survive in the face of the pandemic. The last thing we need as a community trying to keep its collective head above water is a handful of radicals among us from the political fringes perpetrating acts like these, as well as other acts like defacing political signs along the highway.
Sabotaging the heroic efforts of the greatest majority trying to do the right thing is a cancer that we have to root out, and address from every angle that may eradicate its evils. That will require dedication, technologically assisted professional investigations, and sincere efforts to understand.
The spectrum here ranges from terrorism to gross irresponsibility. All incidents are being investigated and addressed by the appropriate authorities, which further taxes our already strained public resources.
This spike, part of a nationwide surge in hate crimes, is another painful reminder of how far we have yet to go to achieve equal civil rights – and a civil society that values harmony – not only as a legal matter, but also as an honored component of our national culture.