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The latest on church shooting: Suspect said he had 'a plan'

The steeple of Emanuel AME Church is visible as police close off a section of Calhoun Street on June 18, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., after nine people were shot and killed by a white supremacist.

As a child growing up in the late '30s and '40s, I used to listen to a detective program called "The Shadow." The following line was the lead-in to the show: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

I have always remembered that opening question about evil lurking in the hearts of humankind. In the history of the United States, many evil acts have been perpetrated against people who are regarded as “different” or inferior.

Whether those differences are based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, lifestyle or whatever else, there is no denying that hurt and pain was inflicted with malice and intent.

We don’t need The Shadow to tell us what evil lurks in the hearts in humankind; the evidence is all around us. The Center for Southern Poverty is tracking more than 1,000 hate groups in the United States today. Racism continues to be an evil that has plagued the United States since the country's inception.

Today, we have a president who claims not to be a racist, but, through his rhetoric and behavior, he arouses racist fervor. None of our congressional representatives have chosen to confront the president and to question his motives. It is time for them to abandon party loyalty, speak out and confront this bully.

Tom Walsh, Lincoln

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