Merriam Webster defines a hate crime as “a crime motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual’s national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.”
In recent decades we have witnessed hateful violence toward, and even the killing of members of minorities, including worshipers in African American churches, at Sikh temples and Jewish synagogues, of children in Amish grade schools, and even members of dissenting political parties and beliefs.
While most hate crimes involve physical violence, they can take many forms, and it is my opinion that this year’s rampant, blatant incidents of voter suppression qualify as a crime based on hate. Voters, especially people of color, are being denied their voting rights in Georgia, North Dakota, Texas, Kansas, Arizona and Florida, and those are just the states that we know of. Yes, the ultimate victim of this crime would seem to be the candidate denied voters’ support, but to deny citizens of their most valuable right as Americans is a crime of constitutional, personal and moral violence that must not be allowed to continue.
As we near Election Day, those of us whose right to vote has not been compromised owe it to our country and its survival as a democracy to go to the polls and vote for those who would protect the rights of all.
Kathy Olund, Durand