Time to step up to plate

This is one of the most disturbing times of our life. In fact, it may well be the most troubling.

We lived through the civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s. We’ve seen films of Ku Klux Klan marches in the first half of the 20th century.

We are not old enough to have been alive during the Nazi reign in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. Our mental images of those days are based on old newsreels.

What is surprising to us is that after the battles with the Nazis in World War II that saved the world from savagery and hatred, there are people in our country who admire and yearn for that tyranny.

What is also amazing is that some 53 years after the passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, we have citizens who believe that people with darker skin color are inferior to them.

There, undoubtedly, will be more incidents like those at Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend. We were dumbfounded at the sight of neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” at Friday night’s torch-lit march. As a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd Saturday, it was hard for us to believe it was happening in the United States.

It is time for all of our political leaders to unequivocally denounce neo-Nazis, the Klan and white supremacists. It is time for the rest of us to join hands and peacefully push back against their violence. It was painful, but Martin Luther King Jr. taught all of us that nonviolence will triumph.

We’re not certain what bred this surge of hatred that is brewing throughout the world. We are certain, though, that it will not stop if good people stand by silently. All of us need to let these hate groups know bullying and belittling our fellow citizens will not be tolerated in the United States.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.