The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps tabs on hate groups and hate crimes, and recently sent its annual report to supporters, of which I am one.

They report that between 2018 and 2019 (the latest year with adequate statistics) single-bias hate crimes more than doubled. Hate crimes based on race more than tripled; the second highest crimes were based on religion.

A map of 838 active hate groups identifies five groups here in New Hampshire, with the symbol for a “general hate group” right here in our neighborhood. Other groups in-state are identified as neo-Nazi (2) and anti-Muslim (2).

In this environment, we have yet to see any response to the anti-Semitic slurs put out publicly by two members of the N.H. House of Representatives, and reportedly perpetrated less publicly as well. (see the Feb. 12 Sentinel Opinion page, “N.H. Voices”)

That any form of anti-Semitism goes unnoticed by the Republican speaker of the House and Republican governor is appalling. There can be no tolerance for hate of any group in our citizenry, much less in our government! Silence suggests it’s OK to sow dissension amongst our people.

Our country is based on a document, the Constitution, not on one ethnicity. If that were the case, we would all be Native Americans. We are no more the country of the Swedes and Brits of my ancestry than of the folks of different skin tones, facial configurations, religious beliefs, family and communal lifestyles We are all of one piece, in this United States of America, and our democracy will survive only to the extent that we adhere to that principle.

Thank you for reading. I hope you care.

Regards,

MARILYN BURDAY

Keene