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The past is the past

On Sunday the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo gave several updates on the latest attack on the Jewish community. Five people, gathered at their rabbi’s home Saturday night to celebrate Hanukkah, were injured when a man broke in and attacked the group with a machete. 

This is one of several recent attacks on Jews in the New York area.  

It is hard to believe that there is so much hatred in someone’s heart to cause him/her to physically attack another individual because of their religion, race or beliefs. 

I can understand our differences may cause us to not invite someone over for dinner or to avoid certain people, but physically or even verbally attacking someone is wrong, plain and simple. 

Sadly, social media has made it easier to spread hate and misinformation. However, we only have ourselves to blame if we let such things taint our behavior or allow the behavior of others to go unchecked. We are the ones responsible for our own behavior and it’s important to remember that we are also setting an example for our children and grandchildren. Our words and actions do not go unnoticed.

We should not be afraid to call hate crimes what they are. Laws should provide for tough consequences for these types of crimes and we should be willing to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. 

Governor Cuomo went one step further Sunday and announced he is planning to introduce legislation to classify hate crimes as domestic terrorism. I couldn’t disagree with him more. These are hate crimes. If our hate crime laws are not tough enough, make them tougher, but don’t equate them with true acts of domestic terrorism such as the Oklahoma City bombing. There would also be other unintended consequences. For example, in many cases life insurance policies will not pay out for acts of terrorism. This law could further victimize families.

We are not perfect people and we will continue to make mistakes, but let’s make a conscious effort in 2020 to forgive those that have hurt us, to act compassionately towards others and to let go of the past injustices that are burdening our hearts. Be the inspiration that others want to emulate.

We cannot undo the past, but we have the opportunity to create a better future. 

May you have a benevolent and gratifying year.

Mary Hoisington is the publisher of the Great Bend Tribune. One can contact her at