Hate crimes are not always one-sided incidents

The Baltimore Sun and Capital newspapers printed stories about Anne Arundel County having a rise in hate crimes (“Anne Arundel leaders scramble to battle rise of hate incidents,” Nov. 13). As a retired citizen and resident of Anne Arundel County, both articles prompted a few thoughts.

In focusing on Anne Arundel, I thought of the politicians who represent Maryland, the county school system, and my own belief in two sides to every story. I’m not condoning hate. But first, we have the following politicians who have been in office a number of years: Reps. Anthony Brown, Andy Harris, Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, and John Sarbanes and Sen. Ben Cardin just to name a few. Their tenure certainly could have modeled positive race relations. One thing I have to give an “attaboy” to are our politicians and their never-ending support of removing offensive statues. With the offensive statues removed, black and white students can focus on their studies.

Second, Anne Arundel County Public Schools have all kinds of diversity, sensitivity and inclusion offices and personnel who must be proactive and not reactive. Black history is incorporated in the high school curriculum. Tax dollars have been budgeted for those offices and support staff. Results of those offices and staffing demonstrate that citizens are not getting their bang for the tax dollars given the reporting of hate crimes.

Third, have these hate crime incidents happened in isolation? Have white, Asian, Hispanic and black students instigated or agitated each other? In my opinion, the media often elaborates on the perpetrators. Could another race have instigated?

If the hate crime incidents are attributed to just white students, am I correct in assuming that black students are truly focusing on their academics and modeling appropriate behavior in school? If that’s the case, then why is there such an achievement gap? Why are we told by the media that black suspensions in schools are a growing problem?

Can’t we all just get along?

Joe Regula, Severna Park

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