The start of this year marked a new beginning for this country - the United States elected its first African-American president. While historic, a black man's ascension to our nation's highest office, of course, did not extinguish racism or silence supremacists. We are clearly not yet where we had hoped to be. The reality is that since President Obama took office, hate and hate groups in this country have been on the rise. Last month, the FBI thwarted a plot by extremists who claim to be Muslim to bomb synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military airplanes.President Obama recently visited the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and spoke about the continuing intolerance of those who hate otherness, whether it be racial, sexual or religious - a hatred "that degrades its victims and diminishes us all." He could not have known that only days later, he would have to issue a statement condemning an atrocity that took place practically in his backyard, in the very space where such acts are studied and recognized as presentday threats.