|Saturday 3 May MMXIV|
I had the opportunity to host the FBI’s Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony two weeks ago, and one of the stories I have heard about that day stuck with me. One of our special agents was talking to his wife about the event, and his 10-year-old son asked what the Holocaust was. This father did his best to explain what had happened, but how do you describe, to a child, an atrocity so great it is almost beyond the ability of words? Through it all, his son had a confused look on his face. Finally, he said, "But why? Why would they do that?"And that is the question. It is always the question. Why? Why would someone seek to harm another person simply because of the color of their skin, what they look like, where they come from, or what they believe?We may never know why. Reinhold Niebuhr suggested years ago that prejudice and bigotry are not simply mistakes that can be corrected through education or enlightenment. Hatred is not merely an error that can be dispelled by an appeal to rational thought.But some "whys" can be known. We certainly know why we in the FBI must dedicate ourselves to protecting those who would be victims of such prejudice. We know why the members of the ADL work so very hard, each and every day, to advocate for those who suffer from the effects of such deep-seated hatred. And we know why we must continue to stand together to stop those who would act against us—those who would seek to steal life.To paraphrase the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: When evil people plot, good people must plan. When evil people burn and bomb, good people must build and bind. When evil people shout ugly words of hatred, good people must commit themselves to the glories of love.Together, we must plan. We must build and bind our communities and our country. And we must commit ourselves to the glories of love through education, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, the pursuit of justice, and adherence to the rule of law.