Hatred sucks. Period. Hatred based upon the color of someone's skin sucks even more because it is stupid.

There is an awful lot of hatred having to do with skin color in this country these days and I suggest that it has more to do with political agendas than it does actual racism. People much wiser than I have noted that hatred is not natural. You have to be taught to hate.  Hatred leads to insecurity, envy, anger and even rage. People who are angry can be persuaded to act out violently.

There is anger everywhere in this great nation. People are divided. They are divided because they have allowed themselves to be taught to hate. They have become blinded by hate and insecurity. They have been convinced that the only response is to act out in anger. And so they rage.

The hatred that has bubbled to the surface in our country is the result of shifts in national political policies. Citizens are pitted against one another as political factions war over power and control. People are used as pawns as identity politics refine the art of claiming potential supporters. It's not just the pols in suit and skirts who stir the pot but professional agitators and radicals from through out the political spectrum who seek to divide the nation for their own benefit. Chaos is good for business. Divide and conquer.

We too easily buy in to the fever pitched narrative peddled by an all too willing news media. Chaos is good for their business too. News copters in the sky and live trucks on the corner can almost guarantee a week's worth of headlines. They want your kids tossing bottles and bricks at each other in the streets because they make money by reporting on it.  A Lot of money.

Lessons from the weekend in Charlottesville show us that all is not what it seems to be and certainly more than what is reported in the profit driven media. I urge all who read this to think before you react to what is being reported by the media or what is posted on the internet.

There are an awful lot of people out there who profit politically and monetarily if your kid is shot dead while raging against the machine. Don't let yourself or your kids be used to make these people rich or powerful.

If the politicians, extremists and news anchors want to fight injustice than let them take to the streets and do it themselves. Don't be their cannon fodder.

In the meantime, can't we get back to the business of getting along?

Editor’s Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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