The cold-blooded killings of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday ought to give every decent human being a wake-up call. Civilization is under attack inside of our own borders. And possibly most troubling, the attack is coming from within.

I am becoming increasingly disturbed at the ramping up of vicious behavior toward others. In the past week, we experienced one individual mailing pipe bombs and another walking into a house of worship and indiscriminately taking lives — the eldest of whom was a 97-year-old woman.

While America, this land, this ideal, is my home, I am feeling as if I am standing at a tipping point — one where the nation I once knew will become the past and one ripe with hate and intolerance toward others becomes the present. I pray I am wrong.

This nation and its people are better than this. Now is the time for the real patriots to step up — the ones who believe this nation was created to bring out the best in mankind, regardless of race, creed, color or even political persuasion. Enough is enough. One could make the case we are only a few steps from a level of toxicity that will change the direction of our nation for years.

Like many, I’ve lived in more ZIP codes than I can remember, one of them even in culturally diverse Pittsburgh. But while the landscapes and faces changed, other items did not. This is a generous nation where, on balance, people want to help each other, raise their families in a safe environment, and to contribute to this grand melting pot experiment we call America.

I know this as unquestionably as the fact the sun will rise in the east each morning.

I’m old enough to have experienced half a century of history, but young enough to understand the application of those lessons will make us a better people, a better nation, a better citizen of the world.

America is not perfect, never was, never will be. But over time, this nation continues to forge a better world by both deeds and examples. We should never lose our faith in this time-proven principle.

We need to stop killing each other in the name of hate. Hate based on religion, hate based on color, hate based on politics.

By nature, we are all different. And despite what a misguided mind might believe, we will always be different and unique from one another.

Right now, I see people pointing fingers, posturing and stoking the flames of fear. This is not helpful. To participate in these actions is to be an accessory to the crimes committed in their name. Instead, we need to speak up, vote, and be — as Gandhi encouraged — the change we wish to see in the world.

Blame is easy. Understanding is hard. Remaining silent as we approach this potential tipping point is dangerous. We need to remember who we are — a nation designed to be a melting pot, a nation representing the best of humanity, a nation fulfilling the promise of a better world — and do not let it go quietly into the violent storm of intolerance.

To do so would be to let a brightest light of humanity be extinguished without a fight.

Leonard Woolsey is president and publisher of The Daily News.

President & Publisher

(16) comments

Van Jones

Thank you!

Miceal O'Laochdha

I'll start by standing up right here. This is the best effort I have read on this terrible series of events. Sound thinking and clear writing Leonard. I had a similar conversation with my son this morning while considering what the future world will be like for my grandchildren. We don't frighten easily, if at all, but these are rapidly becoming dangerous times. I do not want to reach the point where I can look around me and realize that I actually understand what people were thinking on Kristallnacht...all my life that has been an incomprehensible.

Jarvis Buckley

I've been reading you faithfully for about a year. While your hair distracts from your writings with me I believe you are right on with your article.
First thing MSM says after anything is its DJT fault . Such BS .

Emile Pope

An extremely lengthy and rambling article that basically said that people should be nicer to one another. Perhaps they should address it to the people who aren't being nice and call them on it instead of implying that both sides are equally to blame. Perhaps...

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Yes! We must pray & fight for decency in America. We need moral leaders to call HATE out. Let’s pray for our nation. At the end of the day, we all have a soul. And each soul is precious in God’s sight.

Dru Walters

Thank you.

Gary Miller

As long as the MSM is partnered with the hate merchants the American culture of tolerance is at risk. Not yet beyond recovery but trending that way.

Jose' Boix

We are witnessing the destruction of the "We The People" and "E Pluribus Unum." Just my thoughts.

margo holst

DJ Kava
Thank you for the analysis but as a wordsmith you should defend “words have meaning and unintended consequences.” Long before Trump, recall an Israeli maximum that “Jews don’t kill Jews” was violated by constant election vilification of the prime minister by his competitor resulting in the nation’s first internal political assignation. Bob Dylan said, “Not all of the people can be alright all of the time.” Estimates vary but somewhere 2 to 5+% in this country have mental health problems with no system to help them. Some can be influenced by outside sources like the President, like the guy who recently grouped a woman on an airplane and said, “The President said it was ok.”

“Fake News” is easily defined as anyone who calls out Trump on the 5,000 misstatements and lies he has put on Twitter since he started. Likewise one cannot constantly claim “fake news” is the enemy of people without someone taking it to heart and sending pipe bombs. (Or Saudi chopping up a Washington Post writer in Turkey embassy.) His defending white supremacist ideas has encouraged more groups. Unable to learn, his adaption of “Nationalist.” defined as an outlier for centuries, will encourage more polarization.

The Russian and other foreign bots have managed to create thousand of false stories to cause domestic discontent with “intended consequences.” The whole Q-Anon phenomenon with every event having a conspiracy has rallied a large population distrusting government, even Trump’s on purpose.

You have work to do, but I like your hair!

Emile Pope

trump ran a campaign based on hatred and fear. He attacked and insulted anyone and everyone who disagreed with him when he became president. Now that his followers are beginning to act against the people he calls enemies trump is now saying that the anger and attacks must stop. His attacks on individuals, businesses, and institutions? No. He blames everything on the media for criticizing him. Apparently the media criticism is forcing individuals to take action in response. Couldn’t they just write a letter to the editor?

Carlos Ponce

"trump ran a campaign based on hatred and fear"
Not really. He ran on issues: Border security, selection of judges and justices who know the Constitution, restoring the economy, limited government, etc.
No doubt his success gives Emile "hatred and fear" but it makes the rest of us feel better.[smile]
And most Americans feel the media is slanted to the Left filled with FAKE NEWS.

Emile Pope

Last sense is totally false. The others simply aren’t true...

Emile Pope


Cary Semar

I think hatred and fear are sometimes abbreviated as etc.

Carlos Ponce

"Last sense is totally false. The others simply aren’t true..."
Coming from Emile, what I post must be true.[beam]

George Croix

"Is hate pushing our nation to a tipping point?"

Hmmm.....No, but 'resisting' is.....
Or, you can claim that's bunk, and pretend that the last 2 years have not actually existed and there has not seen an exponential increase in outright confrontation and near deranged behavior toward anyone disagreeing with them.

What too many call 'hate' is nothing more than a different opinion or perspective, or being incited to bad behavior. Like the incessant 'racism' claims for anything contrary to what the person claiming it thinks.
Do the 'protesters' HATE? Hel_, half of them don't even know what they are protesting, or just got handed cash to show up and hold a 'spontaneously created ' sign and scream like idiots'.
Do you HAVE to hate something to not like it, or be 180 degrees off from it?

The word has become vastly overused....
But, it's sure handy and doesn't require much thought to further incite.....

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