By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – After a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pennsylvania and, a man arrested for sending pipe bombs to politicians and prominent figures, hate is on the rise, according to the New York Times.
The newspaper in an opinion piece said while the overall rate of violent crime is low, anti-Semitic attacks have doubled in the last two years.
"What is going on in this country? Can’t we be safe in our homes, in our schools, in our most sacred places?" the Times wrote Sunday.
It said part of the reason for the increase in hate crimes and hate rhetoric stems from the use of social media to peddle hate without restrictions.
Robert Bowers, the suspect in the Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh shooting, was a frequent user of the social media site Gab, which aims to protect free speech in all forms.
"There his online biography read, 'Jews are the children of Satan,' a statement of personal values that he evidently expected to earn him not opprobrium but followers," the Times wrote.
Along with anti-Semitism, other hate targeted at the African American and American Muslim communities is also on the rise.
"And time and again, Americans have seen videos of nativists angrily accosting dark-skinned people they believed to be immigrants," the Times added.
While the country grapples with what to do in response to yet another mass shooting, U.S. President Donald Trump is not making solutions any clearer.
Trump has condemned the shooting in Pennsylvania as well as the pipe bombs, but on the campaign trail he has failed to reject bigotry and consistently attacked his opponents.
"Mr. Trump is also setting a low, coarsening standard for how Americans should speak to and about one another. He has urged his supporters to think of his critics as traitors and enemies," the newspaper wrote.
Good speech, though, could be a part of the antidote to the hate speech. While it may not be enough on its own to halt bigotry, mass shootings, and a rise in hate across the country, but it could create a larger impact if adopted by leaders, according to the Times.
"But in this harrowing time, more good speech, from more good people, can remind other Americans of the sorts of values that have, so far, managed to contain the divisions in their country, of the moral imagination and empathy that Mr. Bowers evidently so feared," the Times wrote.