US Holocaust Museum: Preventing & Attracting Hate
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum was completed in 1993, and serves to educate visitors about not only the Holocaust that took place during World War II, but ongoing acts of genocide in the modern world, such as in Darfur southern Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chechnya, Rwanda, and Burundi, places where innocent people are slaughtered en masse, and which many cannot even find on a map. The point is that it's not just about Jews, Nazis, and the 1940's, but about how those in power treat those without, and how indifference can encourage cruelty.
The idea is to show people where the road of hate leads, but there's already quite a bit of hate in the world as it is, which today's shooting highlights. Racism, anti-semitism, and anti-semitism's little cousin, holocaust denial, are drawn to places such as the USHMM.
Indeed, James von Brunn, the suspect in today's shooting, was a known member of hate groups, which take the very presence of institutions such as the Holocaust Museum as a threat to their ideologies. Attacks on Holocaust memorials is nothing new: a memorial at Drancy was vandalized two months ago, a memorial for gay vicitms of the Naxis was vandalized last year, and a Kristallnacht memorial was vandalized in eastern Germany two years ago.