There’s been much ado in the media lately about some white supremacists/separatists (they’re never clear on which, and there is quite a distinction between the two) north of here who have been putting out leaflets and making threats against a particular demographic (in this case, Jews).
For whatever reason, these kinds of people do pop up in preparedness circles from time to time. A wise man once said [religion/race] is a stupid reason to hate someone..if you take the time to get to know them, really know them, you can find a much better reason to hate them.
I subscribe to that old libertarian axiom about how your right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose. In other words, I think you should be able to hate whomever you want, for any reason, as long as you don’t act out against that group. For example, if you don’t like Group X, thats fine…you and your buddies can sit around hating those damn X’ers all day long. Go put on some linens and march around your back forty burning crosses. Choose to hang out with people who aren’t X. More power to ya. You’re free to associate (or not associate) with whomever you like. BUT..the minute you throw a rock through an X’ers window, spit in their face when you see them on the sidewalk, or make threatening phone calls in the middle of the night..well….then you’ve crossed a line and now your business is everyone’s business.
These ‘neo-Nazis’ or ‘White supremacists’ or whatever have every right to not like any group they want…and I won’t tell them they can’t or they shouldn’t. But the minute they start throwing firebombs or shooting up someone’s house…then I’ll be there happily handing AR15s and ammo to the X’ers. And, yes, even the groups that hate me should be allowed to. Shoot, man….you can hate me all you want. Just don’t threaten or try to hurt me. You don’t want me living next door to you? Great..build a fence or put up a wall on the property line. But don’t attack me or my property…then it’s gone past freedom of thought.
Some folks think that if we jump on top of those ‘bad thoughts’ we’ll be able to prevent ‘bad actions’. After all, they’ll say, if someone had shut down Hitler’s rhetoric there wouldn’t have been crematoriums filled with human ashes. May be. But for every person who has hateful thoughts about someone and acts on them there are probably thousands (or tens of thousands) who don’t…and those people usually outnumber the ‘haters’ by a Custer-esque margin. And I don’t subscribe to the belief that ‘if it saves just one life’ justifies thought policing. Additionally, we then get into the philosophical Vietnam of whose thought are ‘hateful’ and whose aren’t. And that is a conversation that is far too prone to end in violence.
Now, having said that, I’ve been blogging for going on fifteen years now. In that time I’ve only had a handful of people come through here and say something that *I* thought was offensive enough to delete. And it wasn’t the content that did it, it was the way it was expressed. My policy since day one has been pretty simple – no profanity (oh, sure, ‘hell’, ‘damn’, and even an infrequent ‘bitch’ [when used as a verb] is okay) and no religion. Other than that, anything goes. And over the years this whole race/religion silliness has pretty much been absent. I like to think that’s because the demographics of the people who pass though this blog tend to be people of good intelligence who realize that something as trivial as race/religion/gender are pretty stupid reasons to want to hate someone. Politics, on the other hand, is a different story…….although I’m fine with people having different political beliefs as long as they don’t try to impose them on me.
In conclusion, I have less of a problem with people ‘hating’ other people than I do with people who want to control or channel who I do or don’t hate. With the former, they’re at least upfront and honest about it…the latter are far more insidious and, when it comes down to it, just as hate-filled, they just cloak it in self-righteousness.
Just my $0.02 on this whole Kalispell ‘hate speech’ nonsense.