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Letters: America confronts a dark side

Outside the White House on Wednesday, President Donald

Outside the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump talks to reporters about wanting to change the 14th Amendment. Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Bombs sent to two former presidents and others should have inspired our leaders to vigorously condemn such acts. Instead we are exposed to conspiracy theories by some in positions of influence.

As I write, I am watching a news report about the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue [“America faces a reckoning,” News, Oct. 30]. The chilling level of narcissism, racism, xenophobia and calls to violence by the president at rallies call to mind Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg in 1936.

All that has ever stood between us and totalitarianism is the Constitution of the United States, which includes among its provisions a free press and our right to vote, both of which are under assault by some of those in power who fear both a free press and an informed electorate.

Glenn Stephens,Smithtown

What disgraceful behavior by people in Pittsburgh who chose to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s appearance to mourn the victims of the synagogue shooting [“Prayers and protest,” News, Oct. 31].

The president, first lady, and his daughter and son-in-law took time from their busy schedules to support the community and received a slap in the face for their efforts.

A week before the elections and having many campaign stops scheduled, they chose to support the people of Pittsburgh and the Jewish community in an effort to help the healing, but were not well received. No official greeted them at the airport. Shame on those people.

Wayne Mortak,West Babylon

I keep thinking how each of the victims of the Kroger shootings in Kentucky and the Tree of Life synagogue massacre started their days, perhaps with hope and joy, and never knew that their lives would end so soon in yet more heinous acts by American extremists consumed with hate.

This country always has had problems, but the last two years have brought out such horrors that I no longer know how to deal with it. Yes, we all need to vote, but the damage has been done and it will not just go away. It is time to wise up and rise up because it is happening here!

No matter what your political ideology, this is about humanity and what we’re willing to accept. I don’t care whom you voted for. I care only that you are willing to call out people for their behavior.

This hatred didn’t occur just because of the current administration. It was always there, but the mores of our society frowned upon it, and it was kept somewhat at bay. Not any more! These people have been empowered, and until we all act to stop them, they will thrive. We can accept the unacceptable or we can have the guts and the humanity to speak out and come together to reclaim our society. Is this the world you want to leave to your children and grandchildren?

Ronni Katz, Bellmore

Another hate-filled massacre. Before that, explosive devices meant for prominent Democratic opponents.

We are tilting too far. Real, widespread violence is at our doorstep.

We’ve got to find our balance, folks. We’ve got to find ways to get to yes in solving our differences. Win-lose brings down the columns on the left and right alike.

The president, like it or not, has the bully pulpit. Instead, he bullies from it. Somehow, he’s got to change his own compass. He’s got to stand before the country and say, “Enough. This has gone far enough. The rhetoric, sloganeering, and at best, half-truths polluting our perceptions of reality have resulted in a reality no one of any stripe can logically desire.”

“As president I call for a moratorium on diatribe. I call for a forum where we can return to the principles of democracy that drive our thinking and instead, author equitable decision-making for the continuance of what we truly are and believe.”

Richard Bernato, Sayville

It states in Leviticus 19:16, “Neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor.”

The Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, the Center for Social Justice at Suffolk County Community College, and the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force that works local governments are determined not to stand idly by while blood was shed last week in Pittsburgh; in Russell Springs, Kentucky; and which could have been shed if those pipe bombs sent to politicians and media had exploded.

It must be understood that uncivil language inspires uncivil behavior, and failure to condemn hatred is to condone such hatred. Hate speech and action must end. Let us all come together to bring peace to America.

Rabbi Steven Moss, Holbrook

Editor’s note: The writer is chairman or co-chairman of the three organizations in his letter.


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