Letter: Ignorance leads to hate
Innocents lives are being lost due to rising hate. Quite often this is due to ignorance and lack of understanding about each other.
To combat rising hate, I started a movement called "We Are Many — United Against Hate." The idea of starting it came from a TV interview; I was asked about my reaction to the idea of starting a "Muslim Registry" under consideration at the White House back in 2016.
This was my simple response: "Rather than creating a Muslim registry — an idea that is distinctly un-American and unconstitutional — let's create an anti-hate registry, "United Against Hate," to unite people regardless of their ethnicity, color or religion.
We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, statewide organization of people — urban and rural, spiritual and secular — seeking equal treatment for all, united against hate, bigotry and racism. We organize events focused on teaching forgiveness and promoting peace by bringing real life stories, such as a powerful story of Arno Michaelis, a former white supremacist, and Pardeep Kaleka, son of an Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting victim.
Pardeep lost his father in the Aug. 5, 2012, Sikh Temple shooting. The shooter belonged to a gang that Arno started in the late 1980s. Ultimately, Arno and Pardeep became good family friends and started an organization called Serve 2 Unite, which works with students to create inclusive, compassionate and nonviolent climates in their schools and communities.
This real-life story resonates with students, teachers, administrators and community members at large.
While our organization is only two years old, we are already having a major impact mainly on our youth. Our local media also plays a key role in promoting and covering our events — a key to our success.
The first step is to get involved. Please join our movement at www.united-against-hate.org. God bless America.