STAFF EDITORIAL: Holocaust Memorial attack a product of ignorance
At 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, James Von Brunn, an 88-year old white supremacist from Maryland, entered the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and opened fire. He was then injured by return fire.
The gunfire at the entrance of the museum wounded at least two people, emergency officials said.
Both Brunn and a security guard were transported to George Washington University Hospital. The guard was pronounced dead Wednesday.
Multiple witnesses and visitors were rushed out of the museum before it was promptly closed. The museum, which opened in 1993, has never endured an incident like this before.
Jewish institutions across the greater-Houston area have raised their security alerts.
‘We already have strong security in place at our museum, and now we’re on additional alert,’ said Ira Perry, Public Relaions Director at the Holocaust Museum of Houston, told the Jewish-Herald Voice. ‘Houston Police came by here within an hour of the shooting to check on us.’
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Year in Hate’ report, released in March, Texas is home to 67 hate groups, 10 of which are in Houston.
The Daily Cougar’s thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the fallen security guard. As students, we should consider ourselves lucky to attend such a diverse university. Our campus is overflowing with cultural diversity and we should all take time to recognize and respect one another for where we came from and, more importantly, where we’re going.
Tolerance and diversity are important aspects of life. Obviously, Brunn didn’t learn either of these, which is why his hate ran so deep. A well-known activist and author amongst the white supremacist community, Brunn may have been plotting this for some time. According to the JH-V, in 2004 he stated it was ‘time to flush all of the Holocaust museums.’
Though this incident was obviously a case of anti-Semitism, other types of racial and religious tolerance exist and people need to be aware of them.