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Archive for Sunday, September 23, 2001

Internal hatred

September 23, 2001

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To the editor:

I urge that all Americans speak out against the attacks currently being made on our fellow citizens and other residents whose only offense is to be either of Arab descent or to be perceived to be of Arab descent.

During World War I, my family was the object of hate coming from many of their neighbors. This hate resulted from anti-German propaganda in the United States during the war. To protect themselves from this hate, they stopped speaking German and so deprived future generations of my family an important link to our heritage.

In the name of security, our country also badly mistreated Japanese-Americans during World War II. This happened simply because they were of Japanese ancestry.

Our response as a nation to the rising tide of hate crimes in the United States resulting from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is as important to our future as is our response to the terrorist attacks themselves. Our continued existence as a nation of diverse peoples living and working together is being threatened by mindless violence. This unfortunate situation plays right into the hands of the terrorists by undermining the strength and unity of our nation. It is the duty of all Americans to condemn these attacks on our countrymen and countrywomen by those who cannot recognize who the real enemy is and confuse patriotism with racism.

Let us learn from our history and put an end to these despicable acts now. Please speak out and continue doing so until the outrages end!

Kerry Altenbernd,

Lawrence

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