A police car at the Jewish Community Centre where three people were killed when a gunman opened fire. Photo: Getty Images
ENOUGH is enough. The so-called civilised world needs to stop celebrating ignorance. Starting now.
A gunman killed three innocent people last week at two Jewish centres in Kansas City, Missouri.
The accused killer reportedly shouted the Nazi salute while sitting in a police car. Apparently he's a former high-ranking member of that well-known lunatic group, the Ku Klux Klan.
He didn't manage to kill any Jews in his twisted spree. None of the victims in this dreadful crime were Jewish. But the shooter's intent was clear.
Every single aspect of this story sickens me.
My friend's son was a classmate and friend of the teenage boy victim.
To try to understand what goes on in a racist, anti-Semitic brain, I visited a delightful white supremacist website. In calm, reasonably coherent sentences, it was explained to me how Jews are the biggest problem in the entire world, because of their apparent burning desire to control everything. There was no explanation why Jews (including me) would want the world, or what we'd do with it once we got it, but that was clearly beside the point. The Jews are to blame … simple as that.
This utter lack of commonsense, which led to an act of utter senselessness, reminded me there are giant slabs of the US, and Australia, where stupidity is worn like a badge of honour.
Why is it OK to be proud of what you don't know? Why is it OK to make fun of smart people, to insult the educated, to get so wound up in lies and misinformation and fear and hatred that you end up shooting innocent people, or blaming entire religions, and races for all of society's problems?
I've been to parts of the US where a sense of ''worldliness'' is treated with suspicion and contempt, and considered unpatriotic. This must stop.
Australia is far from immune from ignorance, racism, and the concept that being ''salt of the earth'' makes up for a lack of actual knowledge.
To begin this process, I offer some information to any potential anti-Semites, or anyone who's felt uncomfortable around Jews. We don't want to take over the world. Even more, we are one of the rare religions who don't actively recruit new members. Joining is very hard, and the religion itself has no missions, no born-agains, no guilt, and little judgment of others. Which makes the ongoing seething hatred so hard for me to understand.
Tim is a writer, TV producer and proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Twitter @timschildberger