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Editorial: ‘Hate has no home here’

Posted: November 1, 2018 2:47 p.m.
Updated: November 2, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Sometimes a picture does, in fact, paint a thousand words.

The sign above was recently spotted in a Camden neighborhood. Its very timely message that “Hate Has No Home Here” encourages communities to participate in combating hateful messages.

This yard sign originated from the website www.hatehasnohome.org, which also features window decals and posters, magnets and stickers that all relay the same message: To refrain from hate speech and hateful behaviors and to start conversations about the ways neighborhoods and businesses can encourage each other to help provide safe places to work, learn and live in a hate free atmosphere.

The website further states that this sign is not affiliated with any political party; it’s just a public declaration that, while it’s OK to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not OK to intimidate or attack a person or group -- verbally or physically -- based on attributes such as gender, ethinic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. The website goes on to state that sometimes it’s easy to hate people we don’t know, but these positive messages are meant to hopefully continue to foster relationship-building, dialogue, and helping people of different races, religions, and American descendants of other original nationalities to move past indifference to caring about one another. It encourages and implores all of us to stop intolerance --  the underpinnings of racism -- and encourage a better future for our communities as a whole.

With the hatred and murder exhibited last weekend in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa., it seems a good place to start. That was the real neighborhood of ETV and children’s television show icon Fred Rodgers, who is best known for Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.

This phrase was originally imagined and used by a 3rd Grader and kindergartener at Peterson Elementary School to help with a project that began with a group of neighbors. It’s a universal statement, so it doesn’t matter exactly where that school is located. What is important is that innocent children came up with the slogan because of the senseless acts of hatred, manifested in deadly violence, committed by self-proclaimed “haters” at places such as the First Baptist Church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 churchgoers were gunned down; the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue killing of 12; and the Charleston Emanuel AME Church killing of nine, including the pastor.

We would advocate this “Hate Has No Home Here” movement as a better way to work towards tolerance and civility in today’s highly charged environment. Don’t let verbal rhetoric incite violence -- let’s work to bring serenity back into our neighborhoods.

Let’s get behind this movement and implement the Camden Junior Welfare League’s motto which states: “My Part is to Improve the Present Moment” as a signpost for all our children as well.

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