I thought it would all wind down but it’s been two weeks since the problem in Charlottesville and the noise is still out there. I don’t think anyone is willing to let it die down. The core issues shouldn’t die down but the specifics of what is being discussed, these dime store confederate monuments, are distracting from the main issues of racial equality and free speech.
So let me start by saying, since this seems to be made clear from the beginning rather than assume people understand it, I am against all forms of racism, antisemitism, misogyny, and hate. It seems silly that I would need to make that declaration but it seems I do. Secondly, I’m against all forms of repression of free speech. I have no problem with a person being ostracized over anything they say but you do not stop that person from saying it and I don’t care how despicable that speech may be. You and I are free to think and express any idea, and I mean ANY idea, that we might have and we are free to rebut any ideas we find reprehensible or just disagree with but we do not silence any idea from being expressed. If we can’t express our most hateful and evil thoughts then we don’t have free speech.
In case you didn’t get that I condemn the ideas and hatred expressed by the KKK, the Neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right and the White Supremacist marching in Charlottesville, VA. I especially condemn the violence and mourn the loss of life they caused by their actions. I also condemn the counter protesters for their lack of respect for the 1st amendment of the constitution and the violence they wrought in attempting to silence the hate.
“What,” you ask, “Do I not think that the counter-protester’s sentiments were admirable?”
Yes, their sentiments were admirable but their execution was as despicable as the sentiments of the protesters. Charlottesville is full of parks. Rather than confront the hate and give it a platform why didn’t the counter-protesters go to one of the other parks in much larger numbers and steal the publicity with a message of love and cooperation?
As much as I cherish the idea of loving everyone and bringing equality to everyone I’m also very protective of the right to speak my mind even if others don’t like it. I cannot expect for that to be honored for me if I don’t honor and protect it for others. If you don’t like what someone is saying don’t listen or give a rebuttal that will destroy their argument. Counter protesting at their event just gives their ideas more publicity.
Also, confrontations often will ramp up to violence and make martyrs out of your enemies.
Besides, it is just as horrible to dampen free speech as it is to subjugate a group based on race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. In Charlottesville both sides were my enemies just for different reasons.