LOS ANGELES - The graffiti was in small letters, almost unnoticeable on the massive historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple building.
"I hate your race,'' it read, painted on there sometime overnight or early Monday morning, and first noticed by a construction crew.
Below that, on one of the steps by the front door, a swastika.
It's called ''hate.'' It's a crime and it's on the rise, not just here in Southern California, but nationwide, according to law enforcement stats. The 2020 numbers are still being compiled, but from 2018 to 2019, there was a double-digit rise.
This is particularly troublesome as Monday is the day we honor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I spoke with Jeffrey Abrams of the Anti Defamation League, which has been fighting against hate and for justice since 1913.
He quoted a sermon from MLK on a Christmas Day way back in 1957, which essentially reads, ''Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.''
"Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,'' Abrams quoted.
He added that going forward, ''Hate has to be vigorously prosecuted, and in the community, we all need to'' get to know each other. Then hopefully, we can have some love again, and it's gonna take time.''
Others, like Brian Levin, who we often interview on FOX 11, who studies hate and extremism at CSU San Bernardino, feels we're at an "inflection point" that, in his words, bluntly, that President Donald Trump has facilitated and accepted hatred and division in what Levin terms, ''a tyrannical government," and now, we're at the point where that can no longer be tolerated.
Easier said than done, as he acknowledges.
''We're seeing an increase in people who are under both financial and psychological distress, so it''s going to be bumpy going forward.''
He, like Abrams and many others, place a large amount of blame on unfettered access to social media which is being used to spread hate, conspiracy theories and -- as we saw at the Capitol last week -- to organize insurrection. These are all pieces of the same puzzle.